Big Ben to chime again after five-year restoration project

Big Ben to chime again after five-year restoration project
Big Ben to chime again after five-year restoration project

Big Ben will chime hourly again from early next year as work on Parliament's Elizabeth Tower nears an end.

The refurbishment was originally expected to be finished this year, but was held up due to the pandemic.

The costs of the project have already spiralled to at least £80m.

The famous London attraction has been largely silent since 2017, although it has been reconnected for significant occasions such as the UK's departure from the EU and Remembrance Day.

The Great Clock, which the bell is part of, has been dismantled and repaired as part of the renovation project.

The 13.7-tonne Great Bell has emitted its trademark bongs since it was first sounded in 1859, although there have been some breaks for repairs over the years. The current restoration has seen it out of action for the longest time in its history.

A number of milestones on the project are expected to be reached over the next 12 months, with the installation of the restored clock mechanism beginning this summer.

UK Parliament authorities said: "Following years of painstaking conservation work, the clock hands, now resplendent in their original Victorian colour scheme, will be added to the clock dials, with the restored mechanism returning to the [Elizabeth] Tower later in the year."

The statement added: "Early next year the bells, including Big Ben, will be reconnected to the original Victorian clock mechanism and will ring out across Westminster once again.

"Then the gantry, which has protected the Palace of Westminster throughout the works and supported the complex scaffolding structure, will be removed before the site is fully cleared ahead of summer next year."

Source BBC

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