Paul Finch says procurement of the Arcelor Mittal Orbit sculpture did not follow public procurement rules

Cabe chair Paul Finch has hit out at the process behind the procurement of the Arcelor Mittal Orbit sculpture in the centre of the Olympic Park.

Sculptors Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond were appointed by a specially-convened advisory panel including Tate Modern chief executive Sir Nicholas Serota and property developer Sir Stuart Lipton.

As the project is privately funded, by steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, the GLA said it did not need to follow public procurement rules, despite the sculpture being on public land.

Finch said: “It was an extraordinarily secretive project. It is strange no-one got to comment on it, if you think that it is supposed to be the UK’s Eiffel Tower, the monument of our generation.

“For no-one to be allowed to input into that process was strange, even if those comments were ignored.”

However, Finch said the sculpture, at 119m the largest in Europe, looked as if it will enhance the Olympic Park.