London 2012: Orbit designer says attraction should be free following Olympics and Paralympics

The ArcelorMittal Orbit should be a free visitor attraction once it reopens after the London 2012 Games, according to one of its designers.

Speaking at the sculpture’s media preview this morning artist Anish Kapoor, who designed the Orbit with engineer Cecil Balmond, said he wanted to create a piece of artwork that could be visited by everyone.

The Orbit will be open during the Olympics and Paralympics to people with tickets for events in the Olympic Park. They will be charged �15 for adults to visit the attraction and �7 for young people aged 16 or under and seniors aged 60 or over.

After the games the Orbit will shut while work in the Park is done, and then is due to reopen in Easter 2014.

Mr Kapoor said: “I would love to see the Orbit be free. I think we sought to make a democratic monument and �15 makes it less so.”

The preview was also attended by London Mayor Boris Johnson, who pitched the idea for a sculpture for the Park to Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, in a cloakroom a number of years ago.

Mr Johnson said: “I think this is a great piece of public art. It’s there to serve as a pole of attraction.”

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