Big Ben’s famous clock face painted BLUE in £61m four-year restoration

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BIG Ben’s famous clock face has been painted blue as a part of its £61m restoration.

The hands and roman numerals, previously coloured black, have been brightened up during the four-year restoration project.

A workman inspects the Elizabeth Tower clock face as it is revealed in its new Prussian Blue colour replacing the familiar black
London News Pictures
Big Ben’s north face is the first of the four famous clock faces to be seen in the original colour scheme from when it was built in 1859 by Sir Charles Barry
London News Pictures

The project, including renovations to the tower and the bell, was originally priced at £29m, but was doubled to £61m in 2017, and the timescale was set at four years.

The clock, which was originally built in 1859 by Charles Barry, is set to begin chiming again in 2021.

This new paint work is actually a return to the clock hands’ original colour.

Scientists recently discovered the hands and the numerals of the clock were originally a deep Prussian blue until the 1930s.

RETURN TO ITS ORIGINAL COLOURS

Pollution and weathering are said to have turned them black.

The restoration project will also see the St George’s shields at top of the clock face painted red and white for the first time since the 1930s.

Big Ben has been surrounded by scaffolding since construction began and its bells disengaged from the time mechanism, but the clock has still been functioning silently.

Although it has been practically silent since August 2017, the bell has rung out for a few special occasions, including Remembrance Day and New Year’s Day.


The name Big Ben refers to the Great Bell which is part of the clock in the Palace of Westminster but is commonly used to refer to the Elizabeth Tower at the north end of the building.

The Great Bell weighs 13.7 tonnes and would normally strike every hour, to the note of E natural.

It is accompanied by four quarter bells, which weigh between one and four tonnes each and chime every 15 minutes.

The chimes last fell silent in 2007 for maintenance work.

The restoration project will also see the St George’s shields at top of the clock face painted red and white for the first time since the 1930
London News Pictures
The clock face has been black from the 1930s until today
AFP or licensors
The Great Bell and Elizabeth Tower are world famous landmarks
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