Big Ben gets ready to ring the changes

March 15th, 2009 - 4:53 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar.15 (ANI): Big Ben, one of the best-known landmarks in the world, is about to receive a public relations makeover.
According to The Guardian and The Observer, Colman Getty, the public relations team that represents Nigella Lawson and J K Rowling, will shortly mastermind a countrywide celebration of the iconic clock. The aim of the publicity drive, commissioned by the House of Commons, is to reinforce the power of the clock as an international symbol of modern Britain.
But some has ridiculed the plan.
Historian and TV presenter Dan Cruickshank commented: “We don”t need a rethink of Big Ben. It has an extraordinary mixed pedigree and that is what makes it such a gripping piece of architecture. It is an example of Britain’’s peculiar brand of modernism before European modernism really got under way. We should be celebrating its historical associations and not trying to update them.”
Stephen Bayley, the Observer’’s architecture critic, agreed. “Maybe we should put a luminous digital display in the clock tower to advertise London’’s breathless modernismo? Or maybe not,” he said.
“Big Ben is fine as it is. If politicians want to improve London’’s image, they don”t need to fix what ain”t broke. They could start by looking at the dire reality of third-world roadworks, squalor, chaos, congestion and mess.”
In May, a series of high-profile events will mark the 150th anniversary of the moment when the hands on the four clock faces at the top of architect Augustus Pugin’’s tower began to keep time.
But the challenge facing the PR company is how to find a way to make such a historic building seem relevant.
Travel agents frequently use the image of the clock to sell the country abroad, but some are concerned that many of the emblems of London recognized by foreigners, including bowler hats and Routemaster buses, are out of date. (ANI)

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