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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Kaleidoscope
Repairs on Big Ben irritate some Britons
    2017-August-21  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

WHO knew repairing a clock could provoke such outrage?

But this isn’t just a case of winding up an antique timepiece gathering dust in the hall. This is the 315-foot (96-meter) tower commonly known as Big Ben, the iconic landmark synonymous with London’s skyline.

Built 158 years ago, Big Ben has this week found itself at the center of a nationwide storm.

Politicians fumed and newspapers seethed after it came to light the Great Bell would fall silent Aug.14, dinging its last dong until 2021 while construction workers carry out £29 million of repairs (US$37 million).

Big Ben is actually the nickname given to the bell rather than the tower itself, but over the years it has come to describe the entire structure that looms over the northern end of the Palace of Westminster, the home of the British Parliament.

Last renovated more than 30 years ago, the tower is now in dire need of extensive repair. Officials at Parliament say this can’t happen while Big Ben is chiming because the noise would damage workers’ hearing.

At 13.7-tons and 7 feet 2 inches (2.1 meters), the deafening bell is twice the weight of an African elephant and about as tall as former basketball star Yao Ming. It’s also incredibly loud.

“When … Big Ben bongs near you, you’ll know it,” said the Trades Union Congress, or TUC, which represents 5.6 million workers across the U.K. “At nearly 120 decibels, it’s like putting your ear next to a police siren.”

No sooner were the plans announced Monday, than the more traditionalist elements of the British media began to vent their collective spleens.

“Not even Nazi bombs could silence the famous symbol of Britishness,” raged the Daily Mail, a popular right-wing newspaper with a penchant for stirring headlines.

Before long, several prominent lawmakers got involved. David Davis, a Cabinet minister in the ruling Conservative government, said the decision was “mad” and complained there was “hardly a health and safety argument” for silencing the bells.

Some of his fellow lawmakers claimed that, while they had approved the plans, they weren’t told the details, and would have thought twice if they were.

(SD-Agencies)

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