Giant baubles hurtle through London’s Tottenham Court Road


LONDON – It was a month before Christmas.

Throughout the city, revelers mingled; the lights looked beautiful.

Then all of a sudden, suddenly – huge decorations shot up near Soho Square.

The scene looked like a dystopian holiday movie with two large, silvery orbs shooting down people on a busy street in the British capital, driven by strong winds and rain. Cars and bikes veered off the road.

The orbs gradually shed their optical coating until only a white center remained, according to videos captured by observers and shared on social media.

Although many thought that the orbs were giant Christmas trees that went awry during Storm Claudio, which hit France and the United Kingdom this week, they were part of a temporary art project that was set up in central London to promote the duo’s new album.

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The installation, which is called “Fore World Set” and was created by the American artist Tom Shannon, was installed on Sunday night and was supposed to be displayed until Saturday on St. Giles’s Square, off Tottenham Court Road.

On the Internet, the pictures caused interest, from joy to complete disbelief, like others. wrote songs and poems to orbs running amok.

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For some, the orbs brought back memories of the 1960s British television series “The Prisoner,” which featured a large white sphere called a Rover with the ability to immobilize people. Some joked that the scene reminded them of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” when Harrison Ford, who plays Indiana Jones, is chased by a huge rock.

“Imagine going home and telling about how you almost fell over a giant, Indiana Jones style, and no one believes you until this video,” the Twitter user wrote. “Life is amazing right now,” wrote another, simply.

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For those behind the installation, the news hit hard. Singer Kai Campos, one half of electronic music duo Mount Kimbie, said he was “heartbroken” after the wind caused at least two of the orbs to pop out.

He added that the team behind the launch had “planned for bad weather and strong winds but it just happened unfortunately.”


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