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The BBC's Rosie Millard
"The snowballs are astonishing morning commuters"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 21 June, 2000, 23:15 GMT 00:15 UK
Giant snowballs roll into town
Andy Goldsworthy and giant snowball
Great balls of snow: Andy Goldsworthy with one of his creations
London witnessed the unusual phenomenon of snow in June as a collection of gigantic snowballs appeared across the centre of the city.

The 13 monstrous snowballs, each weighing a tonne, are the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy.

He made them during the last two winters out of snow in the Scottish Highlands and the balls have been kept in cold storage ever since ahead of their unveiling.

The snowballs contain materials collected from the Scottish countryside by Mr Goldsworthy and, as they melt, they will reveal their hidden treasures.

These include pieces of chalk, pebbles, Scottish pine cones and Highland cow hair.

The snowballs are supposed to remind city dwellers about the beauty of the countryside.

'Out of season'

Mr Goldsworthy said: "I have always been attracted to the last patch of snow in winter.

"I like the idea of taking something out of season, out of context."

But workers at the nearby Smithfield meat market did not know quite what to make of them.

Some traders have started adding their own touches, including a hat, smiley face and cardboard ears.

Butcher Trevor Chelsea said no one told them it was meant to be art.

The Snowballs in Summer sculpture trail starts at the entrance to the Barbican Centre.

The unusual event is a curtain raiser to Mr Goldsworthy's new exhibition, Time, which opens at the Barbican on 31 August.

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