Shard's spire now in place on Europe's tallest building

The highest part of the Shard is craned into place The Shard is the newest skyscraper in London

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The highest part of what will become Europe's tallest inhabited building has been lifted into place in London.

The Shard near to London Bridge, in Southwark, now reaches 310m (1,016ft) high.

The final piece of steel - a spire weighing about 500 tonnes which is 66m tall - was craned into place at the top of the building earlier.

Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the south London skyscraper is made up of 87 storeys.

The UK's highest crane moved the spire into place.

The spire alone is made up of 800 separate pieces of steel.

'Vertical town'

To ensure a precise fit, builders first constructed the spire at ground level at Dalton Airfield in Yorkshire.

They then dismantled it before delivering it to London and reassembling it ready to be hoisted into place on top of the Shard's concrete core.

Irvine Sellar, Chairman of Sellar Property Group, the developer, said: "This is another milestone in the development of the Shard which has become a global iconic landmark building.

"It is a 'vertical town' that includes a viewing gallery, restaurants, a five-star Shangri-La Hotel and residences as well as offices and, of course, it will be open to the public."

The spire is being clad in 516 panes of glass - a small part of approximately 11,000 panes that have been used to clad the Shard overall.

Work on the exterior of the tower is planned to be complete in June.

The tallest building in the European Union is almost complete

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