Big Penn’s hands will emerge from the scaffolding to fulfill their key role throughout the year: announcing the arrival of the New Year to thousands on the streets of London and millions watching on television in countless countries.
The world-famous clock tower, housed in the British Parliament, has been hidden for three-and-a-half years, during which hundreds of artisans repaired the masonry, replaced the metalwork, repainted and restored the guild, the largest renovation since it was built. In 1859.
Nick Sturge, special project manager for Sir Robert McAlpine Construction, said the removal of the scaffolding was “a major milestone” in the 79.7 million GBP effort.
What changes at work
“By the New Year, people will start to see a big difference: they will start to get their tower back,” he said. “The roofs are as fully visible as the four faces of the clock.”
The Big Ben, the largest and most accurate four-hour clock, has been unveiled, symbolizing parliamentary democracy in London and the United Kingdom around the world, and one of the most photographed sites in the city.
Sturge said the update will include replacing all of the clock’s front panels. Hands, numbers and other details have been repainted in brilliant blue instead of the black color most familiar to Londoners.
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