Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Shard due for laser inauguration amid ticket price anger

           An adult ticket to the Shard's viewing platform will cost £24.95

The Shard is due to be inaugurated later with a light show visible across London amid anger over the "exorbitant" price of visiting its viewing platform.
The EU's highest building's external completion is to be marked with a laser show beginning at 22:15 BST.
Beams will be fired from its summit to 15 London skyscrapers and landmarks such as the Gherkin and Canary Wharf.
But there was dismay as it was revealed it will cost nearly £90 for a family of four to visit the viewing platform.
Tickets to the platform - which opens in February - will cost £24.95 for an adult and £18.95 for a child.
By comparison, an adult ticket to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris is currently priced at 14 euros - just over £11.
Russell Gray, of the Bermondsey Village Action Group, said: "It does sound pretty exorbitant.
"I don't think many local people will be going up to the viewing platform at that price."
He continued: "We have this massive pyramid slapped down here as a monument to the munificence of the Emirate of Qatar.
"Yet the price is yet another of the many examples of how the Shard is clearly at odds with the community in which it's defiantly planted itself."
But the PR firm representing the project insisted it was competitively priced compared to other major London attractions.
A spokesman also pointed out that the "visitor experience" would include such attractions as "kaleidoscopic lifts".
During the ceremony on Thursday the London Philharmonic Orchestra will perform classical music including Aaron Copland's Fanfare For The Common Man.
The 310m (1,016ft) tall structure will be inaugurated by the prime minister of Qatar, Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani, and Prince Andrew.
'The building is yours'
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saoud Al Thani, governor of Qatar Central Bank, which joint-owns the tower, said: "The Shard is the newest London landmark and a beacon of the city of London's resilience and expansion, even during tough economic times.
"The lightshow will mark a key moment for the Shard, and one people around the world can enjoy."
The laser show will culminate in the illumination of the Shard itself, with the ceremony streamed on the internet.
Architect Renzo Piano said: "Up until now the building was ours. Now the building is yours.
"This building is not going to be a symbol of power."
London's iconic tall buildings

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