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Friday, 12 October, 2001, 05:51 GMT 06:51 UK
Angel of the Midlands?
Cupped Hands sculpture
"Cupped hands" is one of the nine finalists
People in the East Midlands are being asked to vote for a landmark sculpture which will unite the region.

Nine finalists have been chosen for the initiative which business leaders hope will rival the North East's "Angel of the North".

The sculptures range from two cupped hands coming out of a lake to a tower of stars.

From 1200 BST on Friday people can vote online to chose which of the designs is the best suited.

'Big and controversial'

Lee Stokes, spokesman for the Great East Midlands Campaign Group, which thought of the idea, hopes the landmark will give a sense of pride to the region.

Fountain of the East Midlands
Nine finalists have been selected
"We have got an identity problem. People from different counties don't think they should co-operate. We thought that was counter-productive.

"It is unique in the UK, there isn't anywhere else that has a regional identity crisis - our companies and jobs are suffering."

Like the Angel of the North, Mr Stokes hopes the East Midlands' landmark will be "as big and as controversial as possible".

"The one thing people have agreed on is that it is no use having this if it is hidden from sight.

"It needs to be seen by as many people as possible, a symbol to grow fond of."

Voting on which design best suits the East Midlands will end at 1200 GMT on 9 November.

Click here to go to BBC Derby Online

Click here to go to BBC Leicester Online

Click here to go to BBC Nottingham Online
See also:

30 Jul 99 | UK
Pinnacle of art?
16 Feb 98 | UK
The angel has landed
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