London builds…something.

Public art or public eyesore? The mayor of London — the host city for the 2012 Olympic games — has commissioned a tower for their Olympic Park meant to be their own “mini-Eiffel.”

Some 400ft high – admittedly a little shy of the Paris landmark’s 1,063ft, but higher than the Statue of Liberty – the Olympic tower will resemble a giant ampersand of coiled metal. . . .

Nicknaming it the “Hubble Bubble”, because it looks like a giant shisha pipe, [mayor Boris Johnson] said of Kapoor’s design: “He has taken the idea of a tower, and transformed it into a piece of modern British art.

“It would have boggled the minds of the Romans. It would have boggled Gustave Eiffel.

“I believe it will be worthy of London’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, and worthy of the greatest city on earth.”

You can judge that for yourself. The structure is largely privately paid for, which should at least quiet criticism about spending public money on a “giant ampersand.” But whether it deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence as the Eiffel Tower is another question entirely. Johnson went on:

“If Paris can have the Eiffel Tower, then we thought the Olympic site had to have … something.”

Of course, considering that our own Ground Zero still stands empty after almost nine years, maybe “something” is better than nothing.

What do people think? Love it? Hate it? Waste of £19 million?



Margaret Cabaniss


Margaret Cabaniss is the former managing editor of Crisis Magazine. She joined Crisis in 2002 after graduating from the University of the South with a degree in English Literature and currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She now blogs at

Crisis Magazine Comments Policy

This is a Catholic forum. As such:

  1. All comments must directly address the article. “I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter.” (Matthew 12:36)
  2. No profanity, ad hominems, hot tempers, or racial or religious invectives. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
  3. We will not tolerate heresy, calumny, or attacks upon our Holy Mother Church or Holy Father. “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
  4. Keep it brief. No lengthy rants or block quotes. “For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)
  5. If you see a comment that doesn’t meet our standards, please flag it so a moderator may remove it. “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” (Galatians 6:1)
  6. All comments may be removed at the moderators’ discretion. “But of that day and hour no one knows…” (Matthew 24:36)
  7. Crisis isn’t responsible for the content of the comments box. Comments do not represent the views of Crisis magazine, its editors, authors, or publishers. “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God… So each of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:10, 12)