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London’s ‘worst tourist attraction’ is closing for good after just six months

Considered ugly and too expensive, the “Marble Arch Mound” was almost unanimously against him during these six troubled months of existence. It closed this weekend. Anastasia Chelini

The construction of the “Marble Arch Mound”, an artificial hill 25 meters high, had cost more than 6 million pounds, triple the planned budget.

It’s called a fiasco… Barely six months after opening to great fanfare, London’s latest tourist attraction had to close on January 9th. Widely decried across the Channel, both by the press and by the public, the Marble Arch Mound (or Mound of Marble Arch) will have fizzled out. Several things have been criticized for this tourist attraction carried by the Council of Westminster, and consisting of an artificial hill 25 meters high, at the intersection of Marble Arch and Oxford Street.

First of all, its construction price, which reached six million pounds (7,197,570 euros), three times more than what had been initially planned – resulting in the resignation in August of the deputy mayor of Westminster Council Melvyn Caplan . His lack of aesthetics, then, was harshly criticized, attracting many mockeries on social networks. Finally, the fact that this mountain did not fulfill the advertised specifications – namely, to embody “ vast green spaces “and give to see” unique views of the city “, Completed to trigger the general ire against him.

Preparatory work to remove the structure has already begun. On Wednesday, workers were observed working in the area, now inaccessible to the public. On the spot, passers-by took pictures of the mount of discord, as if to take with them a souvenir of the improbable attraction, whose destiny was as brief as it was controversial.

SEE THE FILE – London: the travel guide Figaro

Difficult beginnings

As soon as the Marble Arch Mound opened, visitors were openly skeptical. Besides the presence of scaffolding still visible during the opening, elements of the attraction itself were unfinished, which was much noticed. In fact, neither the planned café nor the inaugural exhibition were ready. In addition, the absence of the announced greenery was particularly glaring, as evidenced by the various photos published by disappointed visitors – where we see above all, by way of greenery, the park of Hyde Park adjoining, beyond the vast structures of scaffolding of the attraction.

Visitors also decried the disappointing view offered by the promontory (top of 130 steps). The British press added, The Guardian titled in particular, in an article published in August 2021, that “ Marble Arch Mound drew crowds eager to see how bad it is “.

As soon as the official announcement of the Mound’s closure was communicated, Twitter users did not hesitate to make final mocking comments about the failed attraction. Among them, the journalist and author Andrew Scott, who signed under his pen name Otto English a remark definitive on Twitter: “ So farewell to the Marble Arch Mound, which cost Westminster taxpayers six million pounds “.

In a similar vein, one visitor claimed that Marble Arch Mound was “ the worst thing [elle ait] never made in london “. Same story in the British press, The Independent having for example headlined on Monday: “ Marble Arch Mound: London’s most controversial attraction finally closes, after an avalanche of bad reviews “.

Some support despite everything

Some voices have nevertheless been raised in favor of the mountain of discord. Conservative MP Tony Devenish, for example, pointed out that the Marble Arch Mound “ had promoted a return to attendance at a time when the West End was desperately trying to protect jobs and recover from the impact of Covid “.

The Council also defended the attraction’s short report, recalling that its opening had resulted in a large number of visits (more than 242,000), thus helping to revive economic activity for merchants in the district in a critical period of pandemic.

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