By Associated Press - Thursday, July 5, 2012

LONDON (AP) — Europe’s tallest building has been officially unveiled in London, but its tenure as the Continent’s highest skyscraper will be brief.

The Shard, a 95-story tower that stands 1,016 feet high, dwarfs almost everything around it, including nearby Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

It was officially named Thursday as the highest tower in Europe in a ceremony carried out by Britain’s Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.

However, it is expected to be surpassed before the end of the year by Russia’s planned 1,089-foot Mercury City Tower.

Named for its resemblance to a sliver of glass, the Shard is to include apartments, offices, restaurants and a five-star hotel.

Developer Irvine Sellar says the giant building will prove to be a success, despite Britain’s sluggish economy.

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