A towering steel sculpture, taller than the Statue of Liberty and designed by the internationally renowned Mumbai-born artist Anish Kapoor, will form the backdrop to the London 2012 Olympic Games stadium in East London.
Unveiling the design of the £19.1m project — a massive web of spiralling steel in the form of five Olympic rings — the Mayor of London Boris Johnson hailed it as an “inspired work of art'' that would change the East London landscape forever and come to be internationally recognised as an “iconic cultural legacy'' of the Games.
The 115-metre tall ArcelorMittal Orbit, named after Lakshmi Mittal's steel company, which is partially funding the project, will be 22 metres higher than the Statue of Liberty providing what is promised to be a panaromic view of London .
It will be placed in the Olympic Park.
“Long after the Games are over our aim is to have a stunning spectacle in east London that will be recognised around the world. Anish Kapoor's inspired art work will truly encapsulate the energy and spirit of London during the Games and as such will become the perfect iconic cultural legacy,” Mr Johnson said.
Mr. Kapoor, winner of many international awards including Britain's prestigious Turner Prize, described it as the “commission of a lifetime''.
“I am deeply honoured to be invited to undertake this challenging commission. I am particularly attracted to it because of the opportunity to involve members of the public in a particularly close and personal way,” he said.
Organisers said Mr. Kapoor would work with structural designer, Cecil Balmond, who had been associated with “some of the greatest contemporary buildings in the world.
Lakshmi Mittal, CEO of ArcelorMittal, which will fund up to £16 million of the project, said he was delighted to be associated with what he hoped would be a “a bold, beautiful and magnificent sculpture that also showcases the great versatility of steel.”