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Last Updated: Monday, 28 February, 2005, 10:19 GMT
Marooned Marble Arch may be moved
Marble Arch
Marble Arch underwent a 75,000 facelift last year
A famous London landmark could be given a lift and moved to more serene surroundings under plans to make it easier for the public to visit.

Marble Arch, has become marooned at the junctions of Oxford Street, Park Lane and Edgware Road in central London, and can only be reached by subway.

Transport for London (TfL) is looking at moving it to Hyde Park and says proposals are in "very early stages".

If approved the arch would stand over the road at Speakers' Corner.

Open spaces

A TfL spokesman told BBC News the plan was part of the 100 Open Spaces project which had regenerated Trafalgar Square and would also look at other areas like Sloane and Parliament squares.

He said: "The aim is to look at the open spaces we've got in the capital and work out what can be done to give them back to the people.

"We are interested in improving access to the West End and by the by this kind of project will help to rejuvenate Speakers' Corner."

The spokesman said it was not the first time the idea had been suggested and said it was impossible to put a time-frame to the plan as its feasibility was still being considered.

75,000 restoration

It's not the first time the 19th-Century arch has been moved.

It originally stood as the main entrance to Buckingham Palace but was deemed too small.

So in 1851 it became an entrance to Hyde Park where the Great Exhibition was taking place at the time.

Last year the landmark underwent a 75,000 restoration which saw its gates bronzed, marble cleaned and broken details re-carved.


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