London's Big Ben to go silent for four years


Big Ben, the iconic British timekeeper at the Palace of Westminster, will go silent until 2021.

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Also known as the Great Bell of the clock on the Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben is the name of the bell inside the clocktower. It will sound Monday for the last time for four years.

According to the BBC, the bongs are being disconnected for the clock and the surrounding tower to be restored.

“Big Ben falling silent is a significant milestone in this crucial conservation project. This essential program of works will safeguard the clock on a long term basis, as well as protecting and preserving its home,” Steve Jaggs, keeper of the Great Clock, said in a statement.

Jaggs said the clock will be be “dismantled piece by piece with each cog examined and restored,” The Washington Post reported.

According to CNN, the repairs will cost approximately $40 million. 

The bells chimes have signaled time every hour in the city for 157 years.

The last time the bell was silent was in 2007, when it stopped for maintenance work. Before that, the bong was paused between 1983 and 1985 while it underwent refurbishments.

The bell will still ring for important national events such as New Year's Eve and Remembrance Sunday.

Read more at BBC and The Washington Post.


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