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Last Updated: Monday, 14 February, 2005, 12:40 GMT
Rhodes plans to rebuild Colossus
An old drawing of the Colossus of Rhodes. Picture: ce.eng.usf.edu/ website
The Colossus stood at Rhodes' main harbour
Local authorities on the Greek island of Rhodes are planning to rebuild the Colossus of Rhodes - one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Faliraki municipality mayor Yannis Iatridis has offered land and planning permission to erect the 33-metre (108 feet) stature of the sun god Helios.

Greek-Cypriot sculptor Nikos Kotziamanis is leading the project.

The Colossus was built in the third century BC by Chares of Lindos but was later destroyed by a strong earthquake.

Luring tourists

Mr Kotziamanis has been preparing the project for several years, bringing together a committee of well-known European politicians and artists.

He had originally wanted to place the Colossus in its original location by the main harbour in Rhodes town, the BBC's Malcolm Brabant reports.

But the sculptor claims that dithering by the town's mayor has scuppered his plan.

Instead, the brass statue is set to be erected at the seaside resort of Faliraki, notorious as a magnet for unruly young Britons lured by its summer culture of round-the-clock drinking, promiscuity and brawling, our correspondent says.

Mayor Iatridis told a news conference last week he wanted to rid his municipality of its tawdry image and to generate much needed income.

It is estimated that visitors to the proposed Colossus and its adjacent cultural centre would yield 25m ($47m) a year in entrance fees alone.

Mr Kotziamanis and his backers want the statue to replicate the lure of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbour, our correspondent says.

The sculptor plans to make it hollow so that visitors can climb inside to reach the head, which will provide a panoramic view of the Aegean Sea.

Mr Kotziamanis is pledging to maintain historical accuracy and says - that like the original - his creation will be standing on a plinth.

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