BIG Ben’s £80m refurb has finally been unveiled, leaving many pleasantly surprised by the upgrade.
Scaffolding stripped away from the Palace of Westminster clock tower has revealed the landmark’s bolder look.
For the first time since the conservation work began, Big Ben’s four quarter bells chimed 12 times on New Year’s Eve to bring in 2022.
Ian Westworth, one of Parliament’s team of clock mechanics – who made sure the sound rang out, said: “It’s iconic – it’s probably the world’s most famous clock, and to have had our hands on every single nut and bolt is a huge privilege.”
He added there will undoubtedly be a sadness once the project is complete but also happiness that they got it back up and running again.
As the scaffolding comes down, Londoners are sharing their reactions to the new look – with many reacting positively to the brighter aesthetic.
On a beautiful, clear day, one Twitter user snapped a picture of Big Ben revealing a bright gold exterior and refreshed clock face.
He captioned the picture: “Maybe it’s been worth the wait?”
A number of others were quick to agree, with one person stating: “Looks like one of the souvenirs from the money laundering shops on Oxford Street.”
“Oh damn,” remarked another while another simply stated: “The glow up.”
“Dang that’s still going on? I was over there in late 2018 and it was being worked on! Beautiful,” one more said.
But while many were pleased with the result, it seemed some couldn’t avoid acknowledging upgrades big bill.
“Should melt it down and pay for all that inflation,” one person wrote.
“Is that our gold?” joked another. “Could they use it as collateral for borrowing like NFT?”