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New £2m tourist attraction in London branded ‘useless pile of rubbish’ as first visitors are offered refunds

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London’s newest attraction has been mercilessly criticised on its opening day, with people branding the £2m project a ‘useless pile of rubbish’.

The Marble Arch Mound was supposed to be a lush, plant-covered 25-metre-tall hill offering tourists a view of London’s skyline.

But on its opening day, visitors found that the views were mostly obscured by trees – though there is a sweeping vista of a an ‘ odd area full of rubble ‘ – and that the reality was a long way from the original drawing plans.

Read more: You can step inside Van Gogh paintings at a new art experience coming to Greater Manchester

It costs £4.50 to climb the man-made Marble Arch Mound, but its opening day has been so disastrous that people are now being offered refunds, the Mirror reports.

One visitor described it as the ‘worst thing they’ve done in London’, while another wrote : “London is filled with hidden treasures but I can’t get over how not good this is.”

The large attraction, created by Westminster City Council, has been compared to the Teletubbies hill, and to a ‘slag heap’ after going viral on Twitter.

Marketing expert Dan Barker, who visited yesterday, said the original drawings and the marketing description “do not quite match reality” in a viral thread breaking down the visitor experience.

A description of the attractions says the hill’s interior features a ‘hollowed out space that will be used as a café, shop and exhibition space’, but visitors found an ’emptyish storage area’.

He tweeted: “It also seems the team who planned it perhaps designed it in Winter and forgot about the trees already in the area, which change the impression of it vs the plans.”

One social media user joked: “You cannot tell me the Marble Arch mound doesn’t look like the first level in Mario 64.”

One person criticised the cost of the project, saying: “When children are going hungry in a pandemic + the NHS is desperate for funds, I know what I want is a useless pile of rubbish costing millions in the centre of London”

“This looks so so mediocre. Especially when for £16 you could jump in a black cab from Marble Arch to Primrose Hill and see a far better view,” added another.

A third jokily tweeted: “Is this a joke or have the Tories really built a 2 million quid slag heap by Marble Arch?”

In a statement issued yesterday, Westminster Council said they were ‘aware that elements of the Marble Arch Mound are not yet ready for visitors.’

The authority added: “In light of the delay, we are offering anybody who has booked a visit during the first week a return ticket free of charge so that they can enjoy the full experience including the Lightfield art installation, M&S Food, and the landscape once it has had time to bed in and grow.

“People who visited the Mound today, and people who are booked for the rest of the week (including the weekend), will be contacted and offered a refund and a free return ticket so they can see the Mound at its best.

“Anyone who has booked a visit this week can go up the Mound as planned and then still take advantage of the free return ticket.

“The Mound is a living building by design. We’ll continue to adapt and improve London’s newest outdoor attraction and resolve any teething problems as they emerge.”

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https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/new-2m-tourist-attraction-london-21160029