Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
The iconic clock tower that holds the bell known as Big Ben in London, is leaning, and Members of Parliament are meeting on Monday to figure out how to straighten out this problem, the Los Angeles Times reported.
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MPs will meet to discuss a report which contains solutions to the problem, which include suggestions such as temporarily moving Parliament while repair work takes place on the clock and Palace of Westminster, or selling off the structure to a rich foreign developer, the LA Times reported. Although, neither option seems likely.
However, Professor John Burland of Imperial College, who also designed the the five-story car parking garage underneath Big Ben, says Big Ben won’t look like the leaning Tower of Pisa for at least “10,000 years,” the BBC reported.
As of right now Big Ben’s tilt is just 0.26 degrees to the north west and has increased very slightly since 2003, the AFP reported. MPs will not only discuss Big Ben’s tilt, but the cracks in the walls of the building which were caused by work on the underground garage and new subway tunnels in the area.
“When it comes to the options stage, the guidelines advise you that, however silly or immediately ruled out any option may be, you need to have it on the table, to think about it,” a House of Commons spokesman told AFP.
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“We’ve known about it for years and it was probably developed at a very early stage because there’s no cracking in the cladding and we think it probably leant while they were building it and before they put the cladding on,” said Burland on BBC Radio 4. “That was a long time ago and buildings do lean a little bit.”
Big Ben, which is 315 feet tall, was completed in 1859, and since then the car garage and the Jubilee underground line have been constructed and added. This isn’t the first time Big Ben has had a problem, however. In 1976 the clock was out of commission for nine months after pendulum weights fell down a shaft and the clock mechanism exploded, the BBC reported.
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