B of the Bang

Manchester, United Kingdom

B of the Bang

B of the Bang was a sculpture by Thomas Heatherwick next to the City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester, England, United Kingdom, which was commissioned to mark the 2002 Commonwealth Games; it was one of the tallest structures in Manchester and the tallest sculpture in the UK until the completion of Aspire in 2008. It was taller and leaned at a greater angle than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The sculpture took its name from a quotation of British sprinter Linford Christie, in which he said that he started his races not merely at the "bang" of the starting pistol, but at "the B of the Bang".

The sculpture was commissioned in 2003; construction overran and the official unveiling was delayed until 12 January 2005. Six days before the launch, the sculpture suffered the first of three visible structural problems as the tip of one of the spikes detached and fell to the ground. Legal action to repair the sculpture was started by Manchester City Council a year later, resulting in an out-of-court settlement totalling £1.7 million.

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