Big Ben to fall silent

London: One of London’s most iconic clock towers, the Big Ben, will stop chiming as it shuts down for essential repairs, which could cost up to 29 million pounds (Rs 2.8 hundred crore), it was announced yesterday.

The clock tower has been chiming non-stop for nearly 157 years. Pic/GettyImages
The clock tower has been chiming non-stop for nearly 157 years. Pic/GettyImages

The 315ft tower, which was completed in 1856, needs work to repair the clock faces and mechanism, cracks in the tower’s masonry and corrosion in the roof, as well as restoring the edging around the clock faces to their original 19th-century colour.

The Elizabeth Tower, its official name, will be repaired during a three-year project starting in 2017 and cost an estimated 29 million pounds. “The clock mechanism will need to be stopped for several months in order to carry out essential maintenance. During this period there will be no chimes,” a House of Commons spokesperson said.

“We are also investigating whether or not the chiming will have an effect on operatives working at high level, which will need to be taken into consideration. Striking and tolling will be maintained for important events,” a spokesperson said.

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