Parts of Thomas Heatherwick's £1.42m Manchester sculpture could be recycled in new artwork

Manchester Council is planning to dismantle and then recycle Thomas Heatherwick’s troubled B of the Bang sculpture as a less dangerous piece of art.

The City’s executive committee yesterday plumped for 'Option 2' for the hedgehog-like sculpture, saying that 'technical problems' got in the way of the artist’s 'magnificent statement.'

Heatherwick paid Manchester council £1.7m in an out-of-court settlement last month after one of the sculpture’s 180 steel spikes fell off in 2006. The artist-architect built the sculpture himself. B of the Bang cost £1.42m to build.

But Manchester City Council head, Sir Richard Lease defended the city’s punt on the artwork saying: "Manchester would not once again be a world-class city if over the last decade we had not been prepared to be bold and visionary."

In a release, Manchester unveiled the fate of the artwork, named after sprinter Linford Christie’s pronouncement about the point he left the starting block.

The sculpture will be dismantled and parts of the sculpture - the core and possibly the legs - will be stored for potential use as part of a rebuilt structure on the Sportcity site, either in its current location or elsewhere on the site as part of its redevelopment.

Controversy has dogged Heatherwick’s efforts since B of the Bang. The UK Government has paid close attention to the spikes designed for inclusion into his scheme for the Shanghai World Expo.