Last updated : 03 January 2003 By Editor
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The biggest sculpture in Britain could be built in Manchester this year.
The 56 metre high sculpture - bigger than the famous Angel of the North - will be the city's new landmark by the end of 2003.

Called B of the Bang, the sculpture - 36 metres higher than the five-storey metal man at Gateshead - will celebrate the Commonwealth Games and stand at Sportcity, just as Manchester City FC welcome fans to their new ground.

The design - featuring 200 tapered columns shooting out of the centre and is compared to a firework going off - will be the largest sculpture in the country when it overshadows Antony Gormley's famous design.

The sculpture's title comes from the name used to describe the first noise of the starter pistol signalling an athletes' start off the marks.

It is designed to look like an explosion - capturing the speed, energy and strength of the 6,000 athletes from 54 countries who attended the Commonwealth Games.

It is also hoped that the installation will boost further tourism in the city the way the Angel of the North has - the sculpture is said to be the most viewed piece of art in the world with 90,000 people standing at its feet every day [!!! ARE YOU SURE??? BEWARE: LIAR ALERT]. It has quickly become a symbol of the North East of England

The sculpture is by award-winning designer Tom Heatherwick, a former Manchester Polytechnic student, who now has a studio in London. It is also his biggest project to date.

The prototype of B of the Bang was unveiled for the first time this week and the sculpture should be complete by August. It is awaiting planning approval before it gets the green light.