Shard light show fails to illuminate London skyline


Dominic Harris
Monday 09 July 2012 14:26 BST
The Shard was officially unveiled yesterday
The Shard was officially unveiled yesterday (Getty Images)

Londoners were left feeling Shard done by after a light show to celebrate the giant building's grand opening failed to illuminate the skyline.

The laser display, which began at about 10.15pm yesterday, fired beams of light from the skyscraper to landmarks across the London skyline.

But expectations that the show would be a wonderful spectacle visible all across the city were somewhat dashed, and many felt the grand opening ceremony was little more than a damp squib.

Debbie Lemon, 30, who tried to watch the show in Honor Oak Park, south-east London, said: "That was bitterly disappointing.

"We were expecting a light show and saw fairy lights twinkling in the distance - nothing out of the ordinary."

Barry Treasure, 29, who also tried to watch the show in Brenchley Gardens, south-east London, along with dozens of other residents, added: "With such hype, we were so underwhelmed.

"We couldn't see a thing, the only difference was some flashing lights on St Paul's."

People also took to Twitter to vent their frustration.

John Duku wrote: "Okay, so STILL waiting for the Shard to start its lazer show. Oh. You mean THAT was it? Money well spent, Boris..."

karendacre added: "If the opening of the shard is some sort of prelude to the opening of the Olympics, may I suggest this: lower your expectations."

Europe's tallest building, which is joint-owned by the state of Qatar, was officially unveiled yesterday.

The 1,016ft (309.6m) skyscraper, situated just yards from the banks of the River Thames in Southwark, was inaugurated by the Qatari prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, and the Duke of York.

Speaking after the ceremony Andrew said: "I hope that the people who will come and work here and live around here will truly appreciate not only the hard work that the entire team have put together, but also they'll recognise the relationship and investment that has been put in by both the UK and Qatar."

Visitors to the Shard will have panoramic views of London from a viewing platform due to open next year.

But those willing to brave the heights will have to delve deep into their purses - tickets will cost £24.95 for an adult and £18.95 for a child.

The Shard has divided opinion on all levels so far - not least its laser show opening ceremony.

Writing on Twitter, Hari Phillips said: "Oh dear. One of the biggest PR own goals in living memory."

Pete Hawkes summed it up: "Seriously, shardenfreude."


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