Sunday, 13 May 2012

Anish Kapoor says public access to Arcelor Mittal Orbit 'too expensive'

Turner Prize winning sculptor Anish Kapoor has admitted that the cost of entry to his new Olympic Orbit sculpture in Stratford was “a hell of a lot of money”.

The twisting red steel tower, the tallest sculpture in the UK and known as the ArcelorMittal Orbit, was officially unveiled last week and is set to dominate the Olympic park in East London.

Kapoor said: "£15 is a hell of a lot of money, frankly. This thing has to be paid for, and there are all sorts of equations, but there's a push to keep that cost as low as possible and make it as available as possible."

The Orbit cost £22.7m - £19m of which was put up by Lakshmi Mittal’s eponymous steel company – and will open to visitors to the Olympic Games and Olympic Park in July with adults paying £15 and children £7.

Andrew Altman, chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, which is in charge of the Olympic Park's future, told the BBC that a lower pricing system for 2014 was yet to be worked out.

The 35-storey structure has divided critics.

One described the orbit as "the Eiffel Tower after a nuclear attack" and "a catastrophic collision between two cranes".

An industry magazine editor declared it “a contorted mass of entrails.  And the way it towers over the Olympic stadium is particularly objectionable."

Art critic Richard Cork however, told the BBC: "You struggle to take it all in because it is completely mind-boggling. It is utterly unlike all the photos we've seen of the Orbit from the outside."

"We wanted to make something that was kind of a deconstruction of the tower," Kapoor told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"Towers are almost always symmetrical," he continued, saying the Orbit's twisted loops were "the refusal of a singular image".

The Orbit has two observation floors, a 455-step spiral staircase, a lift and restaurant.

The uppermost observation floor is flanked by two concave mirrors which disorientate the visitor before they get to see the skyline beyond.

The sculpture is the result of a chance meeting between London Mayor Boris Johnson and Lakshmi Mittal at the 2009 World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

Kapoor said on Friday that controversy was part of the deal. "There will be those who hate it and those who love it - that's okay.

"The Eiffel Tower was hated by everybody for 50 years, or something like that. Now it's a mainstay of how we understand Paris. We'll see what happens here."

It is hoped the tower will help to attract 1 million visitors a year to Stratford's Olympic Park, when it reopens as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after the Games.

-    Reports/UKAsian Staff

No comments:

Post a Comment