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Olympic Tower backer 'convinced after 45 second meeting'

PUBLISHED: 19:00 31 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:48 05 October 2010

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BORIS Johnson said he met steel magnate Kakshmi Mittal for 45 seconds in a cloakroom in Davos and convinced him to agree to a new 115 metre observation tower for the Olympic Park. The giant red steel sculpture will go up in the between the Aquatic Centr

BORIS Johnson said he met steel magnate Kakshmi Mittal "for 45 seconds in a cloakroom in Davos" and convinced him to agree to a new 115 metre observation tower for the Olympic Park.

The giant red steel sculpture will go up in the between the Aquatic Centre and the Stadium - and is thought to be the tallest in the UK - it was announced today (Wednesday).

Designers Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond said the £19.1 million artwork called The ArcelorMittal Orbit, was a "journey, an investigation into space".

The £19.1 million tower is being paid for mostly by Mr Mittal, with £3.1m coming from the London Development Agency.

It will have a double deck on the top with a walkway and dining facilities.

Mr Johnson said the tower would be a new landmark for the city, towering at 115 metres into the London skyline.

He said some may think of the design as a mutant trombone, or even the world's biggest shisha pipe, but it represented a dynamism of a city coming out of recession.

Mr Johnson said they are getting planning permission.


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