Page last updated at 08:36 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 09:36 UK

Work starts on Bang dismantling

B of the Bang
B of the Bang is currently fenced off

Work to dismantle one of the UK's biggest public artworks, Manchester's B of the Bang, has started.

Manchester City Council in February voted to mothball the 183ft (56m) steel structure after a series of safety problems and a legal row.

One of its 180 steel spikes was dislodged within two weeks, and 22 were eventually removed from the sculpture.

Work to take down the spikes and its core will continue throughout the summer, the council said.

Its executive board voted on 11 February to put the artwork in storage, despite pleas to save it from Angel of the North creator Antony Gormley.

The door has been left open for it to be rebuilt in the future with different materials, but the necessary funding - estimated between £2m and £3m - would not come out of public funds.

'Magnificent statement'

On Wednesday, a council spokesperson said: "Manchester City Council has begun to dismantle the B of the Bang as agreed at the executive meeting earlier this year.

"The work to take down the spikes and remove the core will continue throughout the summer.

"Thomas Heatherwick's B of the Bang was a magnificent artistic statement and we will continue to work with the studio and to fulfil Manchester's cultural ambitions."

The artwork was commissioned by the council to mark Manchester's Commonwealth Games in 2002 and stands outside the City of Manchester stadium.

Its name came from sprinter Linford Christie's comment that when starting a race he always went on the "B of the bang".

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