London’s newest attraction is making headlines around the world, but probably not for the reasons its designer intended.
Visitors are being offered refunds and councillors are calling for an investigation after the unveiling of a new attraction called Marble Arch Mound was unanimously labelled “a spectacular flop”, BBC News reported.
The new landmark, which Westminster City Council shelled out £2 million ($5.6 million) for promised spectacular views of Hyde Park and the Marble Arch monument, but instead delivered what The Irish Times describes as “a pile of blocky scaffolding covered in patches of vegetation that look in danger of slipping off”.
Marble Arch mound opens to visitors at a cost of £2 million. pic.twitter.com/fzBTlgTjEj
— J.R.Hartley’s Armchair. (@JRsArmchair) July 27, 2021
Many other tourists weren’t so kind; one man went as far as saying his visit to the mound was “the worst 10 minutes of [his] life”.
“It’s a monstrosity,” Robby Walsh, who climbed to the top of the attraction told the Irish Times.
“You can’t see anything up there.”
Another visitor named Gary Taphouse told The Critic UK that the mound was a “temporary slag heap overlooking the Hard Rock Café”.
“These are questions [that] must be answered now, but Labour believes there needs to be an independent investigation of what happened to ensure this fiasco isn’t repeated,” Westminster Labour leader Adam Hug said of the project, according to BBC News.
Westminster City Council claimed that “elements” of the Marble Arch Mound were “not yet ready for visitors”.
“We are working hard to resolve this over the next few days,” it said in a statement.
“People who visited the Mound today, and people who are booked for the rest of the week (including the weekend), will be contacted and offered a refund and a free return ticket so they can see the Mound at its best.
“The Mound is a living building by design. We’ll continue to adapt and improve London’s newest outdoor attraction and resolve any teething problems as they emerge.”
The attraction was closed for a few days, but has since reopened according to Twitter user Dan Barker, who said staff stationed at the attraction were not aware that tickets were now free.
I've spoken about it enough, but the Marble Arch Mound story gets ever weirder:
1. The 3 gate staff advise new tickets are unavailable
2. They do not know it is now free
3. Only '80-100' went up today. I guess that may be more if staff had been told it is fully available & free! pic.twitter.com/x1OhMDDMPr
— dan barker (@danbarker) August 3, 2021
According to the official website of London’s Oxford Street District, the attraction was supposed to give visitors a new understanding of Marble Arch “in a way that has not previously been possible and also to appreciate the park in its correct setting”.
The mound was originally expected to sell 280,000 tickets before being taken down at the start of next year, with tickets priced at £8 ($15).
Featured image source: Twitter/@danbarker