City to receive a timely gift from Switzerland

City to receive a timely gift from Switzerland

Switzerland had promised to acknowledge the 400th anniversary of the city of Québec , which was celebrated in 2008, by offering some kind of useful gift which the city could use to their liking. Since Switzerland is known for two types of iconic products sold throughout the world, chocolate and timepieces, it was decided that a giant clock would be appropriate as it could serve a more efficient purpose than chocolate, and probably last longer too.

The donation turns out to be a large extravagant clock which is going to be installed on the grounds of City Hall sometime in September of this year.  We use the adjective “extravagant” because that’s what it is. It measures 3.5 metres high (10”) and weighs 1500kg, consists of lots of bearings and wheels all visible through a glass enclosure giving the time, date and even tying the present together with the past coinciding with 1608. Mayor Labeaume is on his way to the province of Jura in Switzerland this week to take delivery of the precious “Horloge”.

The only drawback about the whole thing is the cost involved to install it on a spot where tourists can admire the work and where it will be protected from the elements. The approximate price tag will be in the vicinity of $450,000 once it’s up and running. The Mayor compensates the cost by promoting the clock as a major tourist attraction. The installation however will be part of a total renovation of the grounds surrounding City Hall which is planned to start as soon as the snow melts at a cost of $16.1 million. It may not be Big Ben, but the clock will, from what we can see, attract a lot of interest from residents and visitors alike.

……………………………………………….. Staff Writer

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