Anish Kapoor: Building the UK's Tallest Tower

Jeanne Sager
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Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate. Flickr photo by terren in Virginia
Anish Kapoor has a big job ahead of him. The British artist has been commissioned to create what could be the tallest tower in the United Kingdom.

And he has just two years to finish it.

Why the timeline? Kapoor's creation will be the centerpiece to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

At 115 meters (that's about 377 feet), it will be 22 meters taller than the Statue of Liberty, and cost £19.1 million to build.

Is this another example of the Olympic hosts spending more than they'll ever make?

Shortly before the world descended on Vancouver, there was a hew and cry in Canada over the billions being spent to get the city ready for the games -- funds spent not just by the city but taxpayers throughout the country.

The cost structure in London will differ vastly -- at least for Kapoor's giant tower. According to the Hackney Citizen, steel giant ArcelorMittal will fund up to £16million of the steel (surprise, surprise) structure. The remaining £3.1 million provided by the London Development Agency (a governmental agency that's London based).

Having a Kapoor-designed structure will be a draw in its own right. The Indian-born Londoner created The Bean -- aka Cloud Gate -- in Chicago's Millennium Park, then the most expensive art installation in the world. He has one of the contemporary art world's coveted Turner Prizes under his belt, and he's been working on the world's largest art commission.

The question is: are we going to be drawn to London for the Games or for Kapoor?

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