From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Built for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair (Expo '58), the 103-metre (335-foot) tall Atomium monument represents a unit cell of an iron crystal (body-centred cubic), magnified 165 billion times, with vertical body diagonal, with tubes along the 12 edges of the cube and from all 8 vertices to the centre.
Nine steel spheres 18 metres in diameter connect via tubes with escalators as long as 35 m, among the longest in Europe. Windows in the top sphere provide a panoramic view of Brussels. Other spheres have 1950s exhibitions. Three upper spheres lacking vertical support are not open to the public for safety reasons.
The heirs of the designer André Waterkeyn own the copyright to all representations of the Atomium. The Belgian collecting society, SABAM, via the United States Artists Rights Society (ARS), has claimed worldwide intellectual property rights on all reproductions of the Atomium image.