Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has said that the ArcelorMittal Orbit, a spiraling goliath of red tangled steel that stands 35 stories above the city’s Olympic Park, would have “dwarfed” the aspirations of Gustave Eiffel and “boggled the minds” of the ancient Romans.

Many Londoners don’t see it quite that way.

They’ve called the Orbit, designed by the Indian-born sculptor Anish Kapoor and the Sri Lankan architect Cecil Balmond, the “Eye-full Tower” and “Helter-Skelter,” and have compared it to a “contorted mass of entrails.” Envisioned as a symbol of London looming over the site of this summer’s Olympic Games, the Orbit, which visitors will enter, ascend and explore, is designed as an attraction to rival the London Eye and Big Ben for decades to come. And, at least for now, the sculpture is also serving as a prime target for British Olympic crankiness.

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Amy Chozick
New York Times

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