The Shard: EU's highest building unveiled

Updated 1214 GMT (2014 HKT) July 5, 2012
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The Shard under construction in central London on April 25, 2012. The building, which will be inaugurated on July 5 in London with a huge light show, is the highest in the European Union, standing at 310 meters (1,017 feet). AFP/Getty Images
12 years after it was first sketched out, London's Shard tower will be inaugurated to great fanfare -- but it has won as many critics as it has admirers. AFP/Getty Images
Crowds cheer as the flotilla passes the Shard during the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames in London on June 3, 2012. AFP/Getty Images
The 80-story skyscraper will contain offices, restaurants, residential apartments, a five star hotel and a viewing area. AFP/Getty Images
The view of the River Thames looking west from Tower Bridge including the Shard, City Hall and HMS Belfast at night on March 28, 2012 in London. AFP/Getty Images
Italian architect Renzo Piano designed the Shard. He has said that gazing over London from top of the building "will feel like flying". AFP/Getty Images
A picture from Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath in London on February 14, 2011, which shows the Shard in the distance, along with a number of historic buildings including St Paul's Cathedral. AFP/Getty Images