Page last updated at 08:03 GMT, Tuesday, 18 November 2008

'Bang' row settled out of court

B of the Bang
Nine of its 180 steel spikes had to be removed after one fell off

The team behind Manchester's troubled B of the Bang sculpture is to pay the city council 1.7m after it was plagued by safety problems.

The 184ft (56m) artwork was unveiled near the City of Manchester Stadium in 2005, to mark the city's hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2002.

But nine of its 180 steel spikes have since been removed after one fell off.

Designer Thomas Heatherwick Studio Ltd agreed to pay the council the sum in an out-of-court settlement.

Town hall bosses were suing the consortium for breach of contract and negligence and the case was due to be heard later this month.

'Ambitious design'

Heatherwick is an original thinker and this setback shouldn't prompt people to write him off
Razia Iqbal, BBC Arts correspondent

Susan Orrell, City Solicitor from Manchester City Council, said: "The settlement allows the council to recover substantial damages and avoid further cost and the risks that are always associated with legal proceedings."

The defendants, Thomas Heatherwick Studio Ltd and sub-contractors Packman Lucas Ltd, Flint and Neill Partnership and Westbury Structures Ltd, said: "The B of the Bang sculpture was an ambitious and groundbreaking design.

"It is a matter of considerable regret to all of us that the sculpture that was intended to symbolise the outstanding success of the Manchester Commonwealth Games has suffered the problems that have come to light."

The sculpture, which is designed to look like an exploding firework, was named after British sprinter Linford Christie's famous saying: "I'll be gone by the B of the Bang."

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