Friday, July 30, 1999 Published at 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK
Pinnacle of art?
The new sculpture resembles dockside cranes
When it is finished it will be the biggest and certainly the tallest piece of public art in Britain.
The Tyne Anew sculpture is being assembled on the banks of the River Tyne in Newcastle - thanks to £600,000 worth of lottery money.
That is six foot bigger than its controversial north eastern rival - the Angel of the North - which was designed by former Turner art prizewinner, Antony Gormley.
Tyne Anew's American sculptor hopes his first British commission will have a similarly uplifting effect.
Expanding the human spirit
New Yorker Mark Di Suvero said: "In the scheme of things I build these pieces so that people can have an expansion of their spirit. I hope that it will work that way and I am sure that they will criticise me if it doesn't."
The distinctive structure strongly resembles the dockyard cranes which surround it, as more than one passer-by pointed out.
One middle-aged lady remarked: "It is not my idea of anything, that. Coming up the river, it just looks like a crane."
But a retired cyclist added: "Anything that gets anyone talking about the north east of England has to be a good thing."
He said: "There are going to be people who think it is a waste of money and don't like it.
"But I would urge people to come down to North Shields and have a look. Because I really think this is a very impressive piece, we are delighted it has come here."
"I think they will be very surprised by what they see."