London Plans 'Rival Eiffel' for Olympics

Boris Johnson unveils plans for 400-foot 'Hubble Bubble'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2010 1:20 AM CDT
London Plans 'Rival Eiffel' for Olympics
Artist Anish Kapoor looks at a model of his design at a press conference in London yesterday.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

London is building a tower for the 2012 Olympics that officials hope will become as iconic as the one Gustave Eiffel built for the 1889 World's Fair. The 400-foot-tall structure of coiled metal, designed by artist Anish Kapoor, will tower over the Olympic site in East London. The spiral "is a folly that aspires to go even above the clouds and has something mythic of it," Kapoor told the Telegraph.

Mayor Boris Johnson has nicknamed it the "Hubble Bubble" because of its resemblance to a hookah. "There will be people who will say, 'You are nuts, you are bonkers, in the depths of a recession, to be building Britain's largest piece of public art," Johnson said. But "if Paris can have the Eiffel Tower, then we thought the Olympic site had to have—something." (More 2012 London Olympics stories.)

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