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The central tube contains the fastest elevator of the time (5 m/s), installed by the Belgian branch of the Swiss firm Schlieren (subsequently taken over by Schindler).

It allows 22 people to reach the summit in 23 seconds.

Likewise, while the subject of Atomium was chosen to depict the enthusiasm of the Atomic Age, iron is not and cannot be used as fuel in nuclear reactions.

The Atomium was built as the main pavilion and icon of the 1958 World Fair of Brussels.

On 14 February 2006, the Atomium was officially reopened by then Prince Philippe and, on 18 February 2006, it opened again to the public. Brussels and the Atomium Association paid one third of the costs, the Belgian government financed two thirds.

To help pay for renovations, pieces of the old aluminium plates were sold to the public as souvenirs.

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Its nine 18 m (60 ft) diameter stainless steel clad spheres are connected, so that the whole forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.

Though the Atomium depicts an iron unit cell, the balls were originally clad with aluminium.