Page last updated at 09:27 GMT, Monday, 7 July 2008 10:27 UK

Bid to rebuild city's 'lost icon'


Archive footage of the Skylon on the South Bank

A campaign has begun to rebuild what has been called London's lost icon.

The Skylon was a 300ft tall, cigar-shaped structure that was suspended 40ft off the ground on the South Bank.

It was constructed in 1951 for the Festival of Britain but torn down a year later and sold for scrap.

Now leading architects want to re-create it in time for the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain in 2011.

An exhibition this month, part of the Festival of Architecture, showcased the history of the Skylon calling it "London's lost icon".

It kick-started a nationwide campaign, called Rebuild the Skylon, which is being backed by Royal Academy and led by ex-president of the Royal British Institute of Architects, Jack Pringle.

He said: "The Skylon was special - it took people's breath away.

"It captures people's imagination. Anyone who you speak to who saw it would just love to see it back there again."

The campaign said it has an open view on where it should be located.

If it was to be sited in its original location - what is now the Hungerford Car Park - it would be in competition from the London Eye and a number of tall buildings.

Potential locations include its original home on the Southbank, as well as Battersea Gardens, Battersea Power Station, City Hall, and out-of-town destinations such as Edinburgh, Newcastle and Cambridge.

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