Kapoor hopes to win over Orbit critics

TURNER-winning artist Anish Kapoor hopes that people will come to love his controversial design for the ArcelorMittal Orbit once it is erected in the Olympic Park in time for the 2012 Games.

Dubbed a “vertical scrapyard” and a “monstrosity” by some residents, Mr Kapoor told the Recorder that once people see the 114metre high tower erected between the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Centre in three dimensions they would understand it.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony at the Stratford site on Thursday, he said: “Looking at it in three dimensions then you will get a sense of instability. It will not be like a solid tower. You cannot understand this the same in two dimensions.”

When asked if he thought residents would come to love his work, he told the Recorder: “I do hope so.”

Andrew Altman, chief executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, added that he believed it would be “the most spectacular visitor attraction in London” said residents “would be in awe of the statue”.


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Joining them in digging up the first sods to construct the tower were Boris Johnson and steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, who dreamed up the idea when they bumped into each other in a cloakroom in Switzerland.

The Mayor of London joked. “There is no way of backing out now. We have now got to get this thing done by the Olympics.”

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When it is completed in March 2012, the ArcelorMittal Orbit will be Britain’s tallest sculpture.

The tower will be a continuous looping lattice of tubular steel, donated by Mr Mittal who is paying for most of the �22million structure.

The publicly-funded London Development Agency is contributing �3.1million and the attraction will be handed over to the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) in time for the Games.

At the top of the tower visitors can view the entire Olympic Park and London’s skyline and, once the Games are over, the Olympic Park Legacy Company is expected to reopen the Orbit in Spring 2013.

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