Online petition bids to save Marble Arch Mound

·2-min read
Visitors climbing Marble Arch Mound  (PA)
Visitors climbing Marble Arch Mound (PA)

An online petition has been launched to save the much-mocked Marble Arch Mound which closes this weekend.

The 25m high man-made hill, which sits at the corner of Hyde Park and Park Lane, was commissioned by Westminster City Council with a budget of £3.3 million but cost almost double that at £6 million.

The petition describes the mound as “an icon to Londoners and tourists alike” and asks the council to “extend its lifespan” beyond January 9.

Describing it as “both a piece of art and a piece of community”, the petition’s organiser said: “This icon of modern London and celebration of life during the Covid confinement period should be preserved and the many happy memories people have enjoyed on it should continue to take place.”

The petition immediately gained support with tongue-in-cheek comments including one describing it as “one of the modern wonders of the world” while another said it was “London’s most important landmark”.

The mound opened on July 26 as part of a plan to bring visitors back to the West End but immediately attracted complaints that it resembled a building site.

The mound was erected beside the Marble Arch monument and covered with grass and young trees. with visitors promised “views never seen before by the wider public” if they climbed to the top.

Council leader Rachael Robathan announced in August her deputy Melvyn Caplan had resigned with immediate effect after the “totally unacceptable” rise in costs and entry was made free following the initial negative reaction.

But despite the poor reception, the hill has had around 250,000 visitors.

A council spokesperson said: “The Mound has done what it was built to do – drawn crowds and supported the recovery in the West End.

“Central London’s economy has suffered more than any other area during the pandemic. With footfall slashed and near total loss of overseas tourists many businesses have faced oblivion.

“We’re really pleased that nearly 250,000 visitors have come to Westminster to see The Mound and the terrific light exhibition inside. Those visitors have gone on to spend money in shops, bars and restaurants across the West End – helping local businesses to get back on their feet.”

The mound, as the name suggests, was erected beside the iconic Marble Arch monument and was covered with grass and young trees.

It is expected to take up to four months to deconstruct it with the trees and plants reused.

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