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­Touch the sky: Anish Kapoor unveils UK’s tallest sculpture

Published time: May 12, 2012 15:28
Edited time: May 12, 2012 19:37
The ArcelorMittal Orbit stands next to the Olympic Stadium in the London 2012 Olympic Park in east London May 11, 2012 (Reuters / Ki Price)

The ArcelorMittal Orbit stands next to the Olympic Stadium in the London 2012 Olympic Park in east London May 11, 2012 (Reuters / Ki Price)

It looks more like a radio tower or a roller coaster, but it is a work of art and the tallest sculpture in the UK. Anish Kapoor has unveiled his Olympic Tower in London.

The 115-meter sculpture facing the new Olympic Stadium is 22 meters taller than the Statue of Liberty. The new attraction was unveiled on Friday.

British-Indian Turner Prize winner Anish Kapoor said his twisting red tower of steel named ArcelorMittal Orbit is "awkward" and "beautiful." The tallest sculpture in the UK will offer visitors great views of the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London and a panorama of the whole city.

"I think it is awkward. It has its elbows sticking out. In a way it refuses any singular capture… It is unsettling and I think that is part of this thing of beauty,” the artist is quoted by The Independent as saying.

The new attraction has already caused debate regarding its aesthetic features. Some admire the structure, comparing it to the Eifel Tower, while others say it’s in bad taste, labeling it "the Eye-ful Tower " and worse. Kapoor believes that people just need time to get accustomed to the new landmark.

"St. Paul's [Cathedral] was hated when it was begun," the artist told The Associated Press, adding that the Eiffel Tower was once thought to be "the most tremendously ugly object."

Kapoor is known for large-scale sculptures and installations made of steel. Yet the size of ArcelorMittal Orbit is tremendous even for this man.The tall

however has a high entry price. To take a ride in the elevator to the very top, visitors will have to pay around $22.

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The London 2012 Olympic Stadium is seen from the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the London 2012 Olympic Park in east London May 11, 2012 (Reuters / Ki Price)
The London 2012 Olympic Stadium is seen from the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the London 2012 Olympic Park in east London May 11, 2012 (Reuters / Ki Price)

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The Olympic stadium and Anish Kapoor′s ArcelorMittal Orbit tower are reflected in a canal in Stratford, east London (Reuters / Andrew Winning)
The Olympic stadium and Anish Kapoor's ArcelorMittal Orbit tower are reflected in a canal in Stratford, east London (Reuters / Andrew Winning)