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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 October 2007, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Legal action over Bang sculpture
B of the Bang
The artwork remains fenced off and without nine of its spikes
Manchester council bosses are taking legal action against the makers of the B of the Bang sculpture, as it is still not safe years after it was built.

The 184ft (56m) artwork was unveiled in 2005 at Eastlands, near the City of Manchester Stadium, to commemorate the Commonwealth Games.

It remains fenced off and without nine of its spikes, which had to be removed last year after one of them fell off.

The council is going to the High Court to seek funds to complete the works.

The companies it is launching proceedings against are Thomas Heatherwick Studio Limited and their subcontractors Packman Lucas Limited, Flint and Neill Partnership and Westbury Structures Limited.

Manchester City Council is accusing them of breach of contract and negligence.

'Lasting memorial'

The council's chief executive, Sir Howard Bernstein, said: "I want to emphasise the council's commitment to securing a structurally sound and viable B of the Bang on this site.

"We want a lasting memorial to the games, and we want an iconic structure that enhances the role of Sportcity and contributes to the ongoing revival of east Manchester.

"The project has taken too long to bring forward although we have given the artist and their subcontractors every opportunity to remedy the situation.

"Our forbearance has now been tested to the full."

A Heatherwick Studio spokesman said: "B of the Bang is a very important project for us and one we want Manchester to be proud of.

"Our priority is to open the sculpture for the public to enjoy as soon as possible and we hope this action leads to a positive resolution for the project and for Manchester."

A date for the hearing is expected to be set for 2008.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Controversy surrounding Manchester's 'B of the Bang' sculpture



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