Thomas Heatherwick's B of the Bang to be dismantled
The proposal to take down and reconstruct the 56m-tall artwork, which remains fenced off after a number of its spikes were removed due to safety concerns, is one of two options available to Manchester City Council's executive.
The other is to cut off the remaining spikes, keeping the 'legs and core' intact, until enough money – believed to be around £3 million – can be found to rebuild it.
Both options would allow for further investigations into a 'potential remedial solution', proposed by Heatherwick, which would see the existing steel spikes replaced with new structures made from composite carbon glass fibre material.
However, the council is being urged to accept the proposal to temporarily take apart the sculpture.
The executive report seen by the AJ reads: 'In view of the continuing costs in maintaining the sculpture in its current position, the option being promoted to the executive is to dismantle the sculpture with a view to reinstating it as an integral part of the future Sportcity’s redevelopment once design and structural issues have been remedied, all parties are satisfied it is safe and the additional funding has been raised.'
The move is the latest twist in the saga surrounding the sculpture. In November last year, Heatherwick's design team – which included subcontractors Packman Lucas, Flint and Neill Partnership and Westbury Structures – agreed to cough up £1.7 million in damages to the local authority just days before a high-profile court battle was set to begin to determine who was to blame for the £1.4 million structure falling apart.
B of the Bang was officially opened to the public in January 2005, at least a year and a half late, but was closed shortly afterwards when a 2.1m spike fell off.