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London’s new tourist ‘mound,’ panned by early visitors, shut down after just 2 days

The Marble Arch Mound is a 80-feet-high hill made from turf-covered scaffolding. But people haves likened it to a construction site or a slag heap.

The newly opened Marble Arch Mound after next to Marble Arch in London. commissioned by Westminster Council and designed by architects MVRDV, has proved to be a dud with early visitors.
The newly opened Marble Arch Mound after next to Marble Arch in London. commissioned by Westminster Council and designed by architects MVRDV, has proved to be a dud with early visitors.
Matt Dunham / AP

LONDON — London’s latest tourist attraction aimed for the heights but fell flat.

The Marble Arch Mound, an artificial hill beside one of the city’s busiest intersections, was closed until further notice after being open just two days and having to offer refunds to disappointed visitors.

Designed by Dutch architecture firm MVRDV, the mound is a 82-feet-high hill made from turf-covered scaffolding that’s touted as offering panoramic views of Hyde Park, Oxford Street and the surrounding area.

Local officials hoped the attraction would help draw people back to the commercial heart of London after more than a year of pandemic-related restrictions.

But early visitors likened it to a construction site or a slag heap. A promised shop, cafe and exhibition space remain unfinished.

Westminster Council, which is in charge of the mound, acknowledged that elements of the attraction, set to be open until January, “are not yet ready for visitors” and have temporarily closed it.

The council said anyone who has booked to visit in the opening days would be offered a refund — tickets costing up to the equivalent of about $11 were required — and a free ticket for another visit “once it has had time to bed in and grow.”