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Big Ben Repair to Cost $62m

Big Ben Repair to Cost $62mBig Ben Repair to Cost $62m

London’s 156-year-old Big Ben clock, which has already shown signs of its age this year by chiming late—may now need major repairs that could leave one of the British capital’s major landmarks silent and covered in scaffolding for months to come and cost at least $62 million (£40 million). The five-ton clock, including its four-meter-long minute hand, needs extensive work to fix water erosion and cracks in the masonry, a survey by a parliamentary committee found. Over 31 years have passed since similar works were last carried out, Reuters reported. A long period without its familiar hourly chimes would be the first since 1976 when it stopped tolling intermittently for 26 days over nine months. “Committees of both Houses are currently considering the study and will provide advice to inform the business case for how best to proceed,” a parliamentary spokeswoman said. “No decisions on works, timescales or costs have been agreed.” A parliamentary source told the Sunday Times newspaper the refit could take at least three years. The clock is in such a dilapidated state that it is “ready to fail”, the source said.