The government announced Thursday it will pay for restoration of the crumbling Albert Memorial, the ornate monument built by grief-stricken Queen Victoria after the death of her husband, Prince Albert.
The 175-foot-tall memorial, a popular tourist attraction at the south side of London’s Kensington Gardens opposite the Royal Albert Hall, was built between 1864 and 1872.
A 14-foot-high seated figure of the prince, cast from 37 melted cannons, rests on a platform surrounded by steps that contain marble groups representing the continents. Around the base are 169 life-size figures of painters, architects, musicians and poets.
Architect George Gilbert Scott considered the monument his most prominent work, and it was admired for decades as the supreme achievement of Gothic revival style.
But critics called it vulgar and crudely sentimental, and by the end of World War II it had become an object of ridicule.