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  • Olympian Tower, 2012 London

    Anish Kapoor: Arcelor Mittal Orbit

    Text: György Szegő

    Olympic Games and world exhibitons are simply unimaginable now without a „sign” conceived in the scale of architecture. The press in London received the latest design by Indian-born British star sculptor Anish Kapoor (56) using adjectives like „peculiar, reserved and complicated”. The artist who had previously been awarded the Turner prize and the Golden Lion in Venice said modestly about the 115-metre 1,500-ton steel construction that „it has been inspired by the Tower of Babel instead of Tour Eiffel in Paris.” Bearing the name „Arcelor Mittal Orbit”, the structure to be built in the Olympic village in Stratford, London is to be completed by December 2011. with a budget totalling 22 billion GBPs, of which 19,1 billion has been offered to the mayor of London, Boris Johnson by the denminator, Lakshmi Mittal (60), also born in India and presently the owner of one of the largest steel empires in the world. The donator has avoided sponsoring art projects so far, and also on this occasion his gesture worth almost 20 billion GBPs is explained by the PR value and opportunity hidden in the naming. The sculpture which critics sceptical about the Olympics mocked as a „giant narghileh”, „mutant buccina”, „the Colosse of Stratford” is topped by a restaurant and a look out, and the future shall decide whether or not the work by the steel manufacturer and his name shall be liked as much bythe general public as the symbol of its equivalent in Paris. There the number of visitors and the giga income from souvenirs have praised the name of Gustave Eiffel for more than a century now.