London's iconic Big Ben falls silent for four years of repairs [Photos]

London's iconic Big Ben bell fell silent on Monday for four years of costly renovation work, with its final 12 bongs ringing for midday in front of a crowd of over a thousand people

FP Staff August 21, 2017 21:56:47 IST
London's iconic Big Ben bell fell silent on Monday for four years of costly renovation work, with its final 12 bongs ringing for midday in front of a crowd of over a thousand people. AP
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London's iconic Big Ben bell fell silent on Monday for four years of costly renovation work, with its final 12 bongs ringing for midday in front of a crowd of over a thousand people. AP
There were cheers and applause from a crowd of tourists and onlookers on the green opposite as the final chime rang out. The £29 million restoration of the Big Ben was signed off in 2015 by the Commons Administration Committee. AP
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There were cheers and applause from a crowd of tourists and onlookers on the green opposite as the final chime rang out. The £29 million restoration of the Big Ben was signed off in 2015 by the Commons Administration Committee. AP
The Elizabeth Tower, as it is officially known, is said to be the most photographed building in the UK. In this 3 August, 2017 file photo, scaffolding is erected around the Elizabeth Tower, which includes the landmark Big Ben clock, as part of ongoing conservation efforts at the Palace of Westminster in London. AP
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The Elizabeth Tower, as it is officially known, is said to be the most photographed building in the UK. In this 3 August, 2017 file photo, scaffolding is erected around the Elizabeth Tower, which includes the landmark Big Ben clock, as part of ongoing conservation efforts at the Palace of Westminster in London. AP
The decision to switch it off to protect workers' hearing has sparked a debate about the length of time it will be silent. Prime Minister Theresa May has said "it can't be right" that the famous bongs will not be heard again until 2021 and has asked for the proposals to be reviewed. AP
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The decision to switch it off to protect workers' hearing has sparked a debate about the length of time it will be silent. Prime Minister Theresa May has said "it can't be right" that the famous bongs will not be heard again until 2021 and has asked for the proposals to be reviewed. AP
Members of the public and tourists also packed into Parliament Square and lined Westminster Bridge to hear the final bongs. This is not the first time the bells have fallen silent — they were stopped for maintenance in 2007, and between 1983 and 1985. AP
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Members of the public and tourists also packed into Parliament Square and lined Westminster Bridge to hear the final bongs. This is not the first time the bells have fallen silent — they were stopped for maintenance in 2007, and between 1983 and 1985. AP
People record the last bell bong at the Elizabeth Tower in London. The Great Bell, the official name for Big Ben, traditionally rings every hour to the note of E, accompanied by four quarter bells that chime every 15 minutes. AP
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People record the last bell bong at the Elizabeth Tower in London. The Great Bell, the official name for Big Ben, traditionally rings every hour to the note of E, accompanied by four quarter bells that chime every 15 minutes. AP