London’s Big Ben to show fresh face to ring in New Year

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Big Ben’s dials will emerge from a shroud of scaffolding in time for the world famous clock to perform its most important annual role – ringing in the New Year for thousands on the streets of London and millions more watching on television.

The clock tower of Britain’s Houses of Parliament has been hidden for three-and-a-half years while hundreds of craftspeople repaired masonry, replaced metalwork and repainted and regilded in the biggest restoration since it was built in 1859.

Nick Sturge, project manager for Sir Robert McAlpine’s special projects, said removing the scaffolding was a “massive milestone” in the 79.7 million pound ($107 million) project.

“By New Year people will start to see a big difference; they’ll start to get their tower back,” he said. “The roofs will be fully visible along with the four clock faces.”

Big Ben, the largest and most accurate four-faced chiming clock when it was built, is a symbol of London and Britain’s parliamentary democracy around the world, as well as being one of the most photographed sites in the city.

via Reuters

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