Time stands still as Big Ben gets big cleaning

One of the world's most well-known landmarks is getting a much-needed cleaning. (NBC/ITN)
One of the world's most well-known landmarks is getting a much-needed cleaning. (NBC/ITN)

LONDON (NBC/ITN) — One of the world’s most well-known landmarks is getting a much-needed cleaning. Technicians rappelled down Big Ben to give the clock its annual cleaning.

The clock’s hands stopped at the top of the hour as four technicians began cleaning the clock’s pot opal glass, held together by a cast iron framework. The clock will continue to measure time throughout the cleaning process, which is expected to take all week. Its hands will be temporarily paused as each side is washed.

Big Ben, officially called the Elizabeth Tower, stands at the north end of the palace of Westminster.

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