The Internet Is Perplexed by London's Newest Tourist Attraction — a $3 Million Hill
London's newest tourist attraction is a mound of earth that has visitors as well as the social media universe perplexed since it opened — and then closed — this week.
Marble Arch Mound was promised to Londoners as an elevated oasis in the city center. A lush, green hill would rise more than 80 feet and provide all-new sweeping views of Hyde Park and bustling Oxford Street.
As visitors were greeted by what seemed like an unfinished project as shops and a cafe that were advertised were nowhere to be found, some shared their disappointment on Twitter, with one social media user comparing the landscape to a video game scene.
"You can't see anything up there," one visitor told the New York Times, after climbing to the top for only a view of a Hard Rock Cafe and the buildings nearby.
Others on social media noted that climbing Primrose Hill in Regent's Park or Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath both had great views for free.
The Westminster City Council, which runs the attraction, said in a press release that "elements of the Marble Arch Mound are not yet ready for visitors. We are working hard to resolve this over the next few days."
A spokesperson for the architecture firm that built the mound explained to the New York Times that many of the issues can be attributed to changes that occurred in the planning stages. Originally, the mound was going to be built over Marble Arch. But covering the 19th-century arch for six months might have damaged it. So the mound was built nearby instead and was smaller and steeper than intended. The steeper walls made it more difficult to plant the mound's intended vegetation.
The council has temporarily suspended ticket sales to the mound. Those who visited in its early days will receive a refund, along with a ticket to come back and visit when the mound is finished and its greenery has grown in.