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Last Updated: Monday, 28 May 2007, 17:51 GMT 18:51 UK
Giant Madeleine poster unveiled
Madeleine McCann appeal poster
The billboard will be set up in locations across Europe
The parents of four-year-old Madeleine McCann have been to see a giant poster designed to publicise the appeal for their missing daughter.

The inflatable billboard, made in Glasgow, was unveiled on a beach at Praia da Luz, Algarve, Portugal, near to where she was taken on 3 May.

Gerry and Kate McCann thanked people who have been going to "absolutely extraordinary lengths" to help them.

The couple have been invited to the Vatican to meet the Pope on Wednesday.

A family spokesman said they were "delighted" by the invitation.

The fund set up by the McCann family to help find their daughter has now raised more than 320,000.

Mr McCann said: "We have thanked everyone on several occasions but, you know, some people are just going to absolutely extraordinary lengths to help us.

My heartstrings have been pulled on this and I want to help
Chris Lennox

"We'd like to again thank the thousands, if not millions, of people who are doing little things in their own way - either making donations to the fund, distributing posters, taking posters on holiday - anything that people are doing to raise the awareness of Madeleine's disappearance.

"You know, we thank them from the bottoms of our heart and we believe this will make a difference in the search for her."

Later, the two-minute Find Madeleine appeal DVD was shown at Wembley Stadium at the Coca-Cola Championship play-off final between Derby County and West Bromwich Albion.

Description released

Advertising business workers Chris Lennox and Les Harle drove the billboard, which is 800 sq ft (75 sq m) when inflated, from Scotland to Portugal over three days.

The pair, who both have children, said the McCann's plight inspired them to act.

Kate and Gerry McCann
The McCanns thanked the public after viewing the poster

They intend to set the poster up around the Algarve, Spain and other places in Europe.

The poster highlights information about a 1.5m reward being offered through the News of the World newspaper, telephone numbers for people to contact and two pictures of Madeleine.

Mr Lennox, 35, said: "My heartstrings have been pulled on this and I want to help. I have a family with small kids and my wife has been following this from day one.

"She told me to come out here and do what I could. I am clearly here to help raise awareness."

Meanwhile, Portuguese police say they have received hundreds of calls after they released a description of a man seen near the McCanns' holiday flat on the night she was taken.

He is described as white, 5ft 10in, medium build with short hair.

It is understood the description came from a friend of the McCanns who saw a man who may have been carrying a child on the night Madeleine disappeared.


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