World's Most Famous Clock Falling Silent for 4 Years

London's 'Big Ben' bell needs some renovations
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2017 7:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – A familiar sound in London won't be heard for four years after next week: Big Ben is going in for renovations. The famous bell in Elizabeth Tower will chime at noon on August 21, then fall largely silent until 2021, reports the Guardian. The bongs, however, will sound on special occasions such as New Year's Eve, notes Reuters. Big Ben has sounded the hour almost without interruption for 157 years, though it stopped for shorter renovations in 2007 and in 1983.

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"This essential program of works will safeguard the clock on a long term basis, as well as protecting and preserving its home, the Elizabeth Tower," says Steve Jaggs, Keeper of the Great Clock. Londoners will still be able to glance up and tell the time, however. One working clock face will remain visible during the haitus, powered by an electric motor. No chimes, though. (Read more Big Ben stories.)

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