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In PICS: Anish Kapoor's 'awkward' Olympic tower

Last updated on: May 12, 2012 18:10 IST

In PICS: Anish Kapoor's 'awkward' Olympic tower

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British Indian artist Anish Kapoor on Saturday unveiled Britain's tallest sculpture, a twisted tangle of steel sponsored by ArcelorMittal, next to the Olympic Stadium that he called 'awkward but beautiful'.

Kapoor, a Turner Prize-winning artist, created the structure called ArcelorMittal Orbit, which is the tallest in Britain.

Steel giant ArcelorMittal has contributed nearly 20 million pounds towards the project.

Unveiling the tower, Kapoor said, "I think it is awkward. It has its elbows sticking out. In a way it refuses any singular capture. It refuses to be an emblem. It is unsettling and I think that is part of this thing of beauty".

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Image: The sun sets behind the Olympic stadium and Anish Kapoor's ArcelorMittal Orbit tower in Stratford, east London
Photographs: Andrew Winning/Reuters

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In PICS: Anish Kapoor's 'awkward' Olympic tower

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Located in Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, the tower has two observation floors, a 455-step spiral staircase, lift and restaurant.

Visitors go up in the lift and walk down the staircase and take in the views and artistic tricks designed by Kapoor. Admitting that the structure would prove controversial, Kapoor said, "I think controversy is OK -- it is part of the deal really. We have tried to open territory for ourselves and hopefully in so doing a whole question about what this type of tower form can be".

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Image: A couple share a moment at the Olympic Aquatics Centre, as Anish Kapoor's ArcelorMittal Orbit tower and the Olympic stadium are seen in the background, at the Olympic Park in London
Photographs: Andrew Winning/Reuters

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In PICS: Anish Kapoor's 'awkward' Olympic tower

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"I am sure there are other possibilities but this is the one that we thought was right". The tower, which is made from 60 per cent scrap metal, is designed by structural designer Cecil Balmond.

Kapoor said, "Cecil is also a very clever man. The four people who pieced it together could do so because Cecil designed the structure in such a way that one (piece of) steel and the next piece come down in the right position and because of it you need no scaffolding".

A construction worker passes near the Anish Kapoor designed ArcelorMittal Orbit tower at the Olympic site at Stratford in east London.


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

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