Stat of the day: £7m

The cost to reinstate the fabric curtain that will wrap around the Olympic stadium after it fell victim to the spending cuts

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
At £7m, it could probably be counted among the most expensive ever designed. Then again, given that it was intended to protect the outside of the Olympic stadium, you could argue that this is one curtain that needs to look right. But, with not even the Olympics escaping the swing of George Osborne's axe, the sad news is that it has gone to the big dry cleaner in the sky as part of measures to make up the £20m worth of savings the Olympic Delivery Authority was told to find as part of the spending review.

The 900-metre long curtain would have covered the 80,000-seat circular venue - but could still go ahead if sponsors can be found to stump up the cash (one for Ikea, perhaps?).

While stadium architects argue the wrap is essential to protect equipment and to help minimise crosswinds, an Olympic spokesman maintains stadium conditions will not be affected and that the wrap was 'purely cosmetic'. Fair enough – after all, £7m is a lot to spend on  a curtain.

It did look pretty, though.

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