Big Ben may grind to a halt

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Big Ben, the British Parliament’s iconic clock, is so badly damaged that it could grind to a halt unless important repairs are carried out.

A recent report shows that it will cost 29.2 million pound ($65 million NZD) to fix. Although the total repair bill could rise to as much as 40 million ($90 million NZD).

The clock has problems with the bearings behind the hands and the pendulum.

Repairing it would also see the clock shut down for four months.

Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London.

The tower is officially known as the Elizabeth Tower, renamed as such to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II (prior to being renamed in 2012 it was known simply as “Clock Tower”).

The tower holds the second largest four-faced chiming clock in the world (Minneapolis City Hall having the largest).

The tower was completed in 1858 and had its 150th anniversary on 31 May 2009.

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