‘We’re only half joking’ Students launch #SaveTheMound campaign

·2-min read
Alexander Bowen and Freddie Poser  (Freddie Poser)
Alexander Bowen and Freddie Poser (Freddie Poser)

Students behind a petition to save The Marble Arch Mound have claimed they are “only half-tongue-in-cheek” as fans joked the much-maligned mound was like the “Hanging Gardens of Babylon”.

Freddie Poser, 21, from the University of Cambridge, said he had been up the mound five times when it was open with his close friend and fellow petition organiser Alexander Bowen pipping him to the record of six visits.

The petition has been signed by nearly 200 people and has attracted a mixed response.

Alexander Bowen and Freddie Poser on the Marble Arch Mound (Freddie Poser)
Alexander Bowen and Freddie Poser on the Marble Arch Mound (Freddie Poser)

Some comments dripping in sarcasm while others appear genuine all using the #SaveTheMound.

Mr Poser spoke to The Standard as he was staring up at the now closed 25m high man-made hill,described as London’s “worst tourist attraction” which sits at the corner of Hyde Park and Park Lane.

He said: “It’s a genuine petition to save it with only about 50 per cent tongue in cheek. I think it really shows what £6million can get you in Britain today.

“Everyone is launching campaigns to save statues or mulberry trees, why not the mound?

“People keep getting distracted by Partygate but this is the issue that matters.”

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.”

One petition signatory said: “I think it’s one of the modern Wonders of the World, like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon!”

Westminster Council’s deputy leader Melvyn Caplan, who was responsible for the project, resigned from his role after total costs nearly tripled from an initial forecast of £2m.

The mound (PA)
The mound (PA)

The Tory-led council review to “understand what went wrong and ensure it never happens again” described the soaring costs of the scheme as “devastating” and “avoidable”.

Labour councillors branded the project, which was always expected to close this month, “a disaster from start to finish”.

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

However 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.”

To sign the petition and #SaveTheMound click here.

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