LondonNet News Headlines
04/04/00
Eyes All Over the World
- Big wheels planned in six other cities

IT SEEMS that Londoners are not alone in their admiration for the Millennium Wheel on the South Bank.

The British Airways London Eye, as it is officially known, has drawn interest from half a dozen other cities. Officials and developers in the six, which include Sydney, Johannesburg, Boston, Toronto and two other unnamed cities, have asked BA if it would allow them to replicate their creation.

The London Eye cost 35 million UKP to develop and build. Since its delayed launch in February the wheel has carried 250,000 passengers, with a million tickets pre-sold for upcoming months.

"We are evaluating the suggestions which have been put to us but we have to make it clear that our first priority is to operate the London Eye," a BA spokesperson said..

It is understood that the fusty old London Tourist Board is lobbying to keep the Millennium Wheel a British-only affair. They are pleased with the way the wheel has quickly become a recognisable symbol of 21st century London and don't want its value diluted by worldwide imitation.

"The London Eye is rapidly becoming an icon for the city as the Eifel Tower is for Paris and the Empire State is for New York" said a bah-humbug official from the board.

What the tourist apparatchiks seem to have missed is that London already has world renowned bricks and mortar. Topping the list is Big Ben, followed by Tower Bridge, Nelson's Column and St Paul's Cathedral. The Millennium Wheel merely joins the list as the cheeky upstart jostling its way into the world's eye.




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