London’s newly face-lifted Big Ben to ring in New Year
London’s Big Ben bell in parliament’s landmark clock tower is expected to ring at midnight on New Year’s Eve for the first time since its new face was revealed from under scaffolding halfway through restoration works.
The 96-metre-tall Elizabeth Tower is one of the most photographed buildings in Britain.
It has been enveloped in scaffolding for the past two years in which the four clock dials are reglazed, ironwork repainted, and intricately carved stonework cleaned and repaired.
In March, part of the scaffolding was removed, while the clock’s once black numerals and hands have been repainted blue, in line with what scientists explain was its original color.
Since restoration work commenced in 2017, Big Ben has been largely silenced, sounding only for key big events. The last time it was tolled was on Remembrance Day on November 11.
The bell will be tested several times in the run-up to New Year’s Eve, parliament announced in a statement.
The cost of the entire Elizabeth Tower restoration is an estimated 61 million pounds ($79.78 million). The restoration works will see the building repaired and redecorated, including bringing colours back to the original design.
The work is scheduled to be completed in 2021 and will be proceeded by a 4-billion-pound restoration programme of the entire parliament building.