93 people sign petition to save the Marble Arch Mound

Less than 100 people have signed a petition to save ‘Britain’s most important cultural heritage site’.

The £6 million Marble Arch Mound is closing this weekend after a short and heavily-ridiculed existence.

Derided as a ‘monstrosity’ and Britain’s ‘worst attraction’, the mound is nonetheless now the subject of an unlikely bid to save it.

The only problem is, just 93 people had signed up by Sunday afternoon – the day the landmark officially closes.

The petition describes the construction – which went heavily over budget and faced widespread mockery from locals and visitors – as an ‘icon to Londoners and tourists alike’.

‘This icon of modern London and celebration of life during the Covid deconfinement period should be preserved and the many happy memories people have enjoyed on it should continue to take place’, the website argues – quite possibly with tongue firmly in cheek.

‘The Mound is both a piece of art and a piece of community – it must not be cut down in its prime especially in light of the money and joy already invested into it’, it adds.

And an associated Save the Mound Twitter account – which insists it is ‘not a joke’ – brands the landmark ‘Britain’s most important cultural heritage site’.

The 25m high man-made hill, which sits at the corner of Hyde Park and Park Lane, was commissioned by Westminster City Council with a budget of £3.3 million but by completion it had cost almost double that.

Refunds were offered the day after it opened to the public on July 26, following what the authority called ‘teething problems’. Visitors had complained that it was still a building site.

Among a number of mocking remarks, one branded it ‘the worst thing I’ve ever done in London’, as another compared it to an abandoned theme park.

It was then shut for a short period, with organisers saying it was not ready yet.

Council leader Rachael Robathan then announced in August that her deputy Melvyn Caplan had resigned with immediate effect after the ‘totally unacceptable’ rise in costs, with the site being branded a ‘trash heap’.

The Mound, planned by Dutch architect company MVRDV, was designed to take the capital’s Oxford Street, Hyde Park, Mayfair, and Marylebone from on high.

Visitors were able to ascend the structure via a path to see what the council described as ‘views never seen before by the wider public’ – but many complained that they got just a drab look at Speakers’ Corner

Tickets first cost up to £8 but a negative initial reception meant that entry was soon made free.

The scheme was intended to increase footfall in the shopping district as lockdown restrictions eased.

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