London’s new $2.78M tourist attraction slammed, refunds offered

Tourists are panning a “hollowed-out mountain” installation that opened this week in London – leading officials to offer refunds to people who paid to see it.

The $2.78 million, 80-foot high Marble Arch Hill near Hyde Park was supposed to attract tourists but instead it has attracted insults, with some of the more kind social media comments comparing its design to the set of “The Teletubbies.”

“Marble arch mound is the worst thing I’ve ever done in London,” said one Twitter user.

Another called it the “s— hill at Marble Arch.”

“It’s literally just scaffolding covered in plastic sheeting and from tomorrow you can pay £8(!!) to climb the stairs to marvel at the busy intersection from a height,” the user posted. “Omg it’s so bad.”

Another user noted the reality of the hill didn’t match the green-filled artist’s rendering of the project, while many others compared its boxy landscape to the graphics of old video games such as “Mario 64” from the mid-1990s.

The temporary installation, which will remain in place through January, is built from scaffolding covered in turf and offers great views of the area. But much of the landscape has yet to grow in and certain parts of the installation have yet to open, officials said.

“We are aware that elements of the Marble Arch Mound are not yet ready for visitors,” the Westminster City Council said in a statement posted to its website on Monday. “We are working hard to resolve this over the next few days.”

The summit of the new 25-metre high installation will provide sweeping views across much of London including Hyde Park, Mayfair and Marylebone when it opens to the public in July.
The summit of the new 25-metre high installation was supposed to provide sweeping views across much of London including Hyde Park, Mayfair and Marylebone.
Jonathan Brady/PA via AP

Visitors will be offered refunds and return tickets free of charge, the statement said. Those who have tickets purchased through the weekend can come see the hill and still get a free return ticket, the council stated.

“The Mound is a living building by design,” the statement said. “We’ll continue to adapt and improve London’s newest outdoor attraction and resolve any teething problems as they emerge.”

The mound was designed by Rotterdam-based MVRDV, which said on its website that the installation was part of an effort to bring interest back in a part of the city that is usually a busy shopping area but has been hit “particularly hard by Covid-19 measures.”

With Post Wires

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