Big Ben clock tower hands removed for maintenance

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image sourceUK Parliament/Mark Duffy
image captionThe hands are missing as essential conservation work continues

The clock hands of Elizabeth Tower have been removed during maintenance and restoration work in the Palace of Westminster.

The tower is undergoing a £61m refurbishment, up from the original estimate of between £29m and £45m.

The clock hands will be replaced with temporary ones while the originals undergo conservation work.

The London landmark chimed for the last time in August and will not sound until 2021.

The only exceptions will be on New Year and Remembrance Sunday.

Work to the clock dials includes repairing the glass and metalwork.

image sourceReuters
image captionClock dial work includes repairing the glass and metalwork
image sourceUK Parliament/Mark Duffy
image captionBig Ben, housed in Elizabeth Tower, will only chime on New Year and Remembrance Sunday until 2021
image sourceGetty Images
image captionThere are "unique challenges" in working on a historic site, Parliament said
image sourceGetty Images
image captionThe news that Big Ben will not chime until 2021 prompted criticism from Theresa May and other MPs

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