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Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 12:44 UK

Stadium for Beijing Games opens


BBC Beijing correspondent James Reynolds inspects the 'Bird's Nest'

The 91,000 capacity stadium for this year's Olympic Games in Beijing opened its doors to the media on Wednesday.

The venue's design was one submitted by architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, with the 70 metre high structure encased in twisted steel.

It has been nicknamed the Bird's Nest by locals and took 52 months to build.

The project cost 3.5 billion yuan (250m) to complete and paying customers will be admitted for the first time on Friday.

BBC Beijing correspondent James Reynolds

"In a way it is a very random pattern that is similar to some Chinese artworks like bowls with cracked patterns and ancient pottery that you would see in a museum," said Michael Kwok of stadium engineers Arup China.

"It portrays a very strong image to the world of what China wants to portray - a modern, strong nation with the determination to succeed in this event."

The construction of the stadium did run into trouble seven months after work started in December 2003.

There was criticism over the spiralling cost so the retractable roof, 9,000 seats, 12,000 tons of steel and 400 million yuan were cut.

see also
China stadium nears finishing line
16 Apr 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Touchdown for torch in Pakistan
16 Apr 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Delay hits Beijing Games stadium
06 Mar 08 |  Olympics
China restarts stadium building
28 Dec 04 |  Other sport...
Beijing building the Olympic dream
20 Nov 06 |  Asia-Pacific
China unveils 'Water Cube' venue
01 Feb 08 |  Olympics
Beijing venues - National Stadium
10 Dec 07 |  Olympics
Inside Beijing's 'Bird's Nest'
16 Apr 08 |  Special Reports

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