Watch: Struggle To Shift BLACK SABBATH Bench Proves It Really Is Heavy Metal

February 7, 2024

According to Westside Business Improvement District, the world-famous BLACK SABBATH bench in Birmingham, England was temporarily removed earlier this week for refurbishment.

It took several hours on Monday, February 5 to dismantle the entire sculpture and three men to carry just the heads.

The refurbishment is being masterminded by Dudley-based company Midtherm, which specializes in all types of creative metalwork.

The "heavy metal" bench on Black Sabbath Bridge features Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward and sits above the canal off Broad Street. It was officially opened by Geezer and Tony in June 2019 and has since attracted thousands of BLACK SABBATH fans and media from all over the world.

The handmade stainless steel bench was forged in the city by Gateway Steel Fabrications and features images of Osbourne, Iommi, Butler and Ward with the words "Geezer. Ozzy. Tony. Bill. Made in Birmingham 1968" etched on it.

BLACK SABBATH super-fan Mohammed Osama came up with the idea and worked closely with Westside Business Improvement District on the project.

The bench's artwork was created by Egyptian artist Tarek Abdelkawi.

Mark Jones, sales and marketing director at Midtherm, explained to Westside Business Improvement District that one of his first jobs would be to decide if Ozzy, Tony, Geezer and Bill needed new heads.

He said: "It's so exciting to be involved with a project like this. The materials and fittings used have weathered as you would expect them to, so we’ll have a good look at it to decide what to do and if we need to make a prototype with new faces for approval.

"We will probably keep the rusty look of the bench slats, given that they are not made out of stainless steel. We will also look at the faces to see what to do with those.

"It's possible the bench could end up with a new look using enamel. Whatever we do, it will end up looking as good as new, if not even better."

Mike Olley, general manager at Westside Business Improvement District, said: "The bench is so popular it needs a big sprucing up. It is arguably Birmingham and the West Midlands' biggest-used 'engagement public art' piece. Visitors from all over the world enjoy seeing it and that's a real tribute to BLACK SABBATH — a truly global bunch of Brummies. We are investing several thousands of pounds in this refurbishment, looking at replacing the heads and bench struts with a cleaner, more streamlined material."

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