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Wednesday, 9 January, 2002, 06:44 GMT
Balloon lifts city's cultural status
Balloon Fiesta
Bristol hosts the International Balloon Fiesta
A balloon specially designed to promote Bristol as "European Capital of Culture 2008" is nearing completion at a factory in the city.

The 45,000 balloon will feature silhouettes of the city's landmarks.

Forty-metre sections of fabric used to create the balloon are being stitched together at Cameron Balloons, a factory at Bedminster, Bristol.

Nicky Rylance, one of the members of a team trying to promote Bristol's bid, said: "It is most appropriate that a balloon celebrating our city is produced to support the Bristol 2008 bid.

Symbolic images

"Balloons are one of the many things that are putting Bristol on the world map."

The balloon will create a highly-visible symbol of the city at events throughout the UK and in Europe.

Bristol balloon design
The balloon features images of Bristol

It is hoped that work on the canopy will be complete by mid-January.

Images displayed on the fabric will include the Clifton Suspension Bridge; the interactive educational centre @Bristol; Concorde, which was built and had its test flight in the city; and Pero's bridge, which acknowledges the city's role in slavery.

Mr Rylance added: "The world's most advanced balloons are produced in Bristol and we host the spectacular International Balloon Fiesta, which is one of the world's most successful free festivals."

The Bristol-based Cameron plant has designed and built balloons attempting to beat round-the-world records.

Bristol is one of 12 UK cities competing to become City of Culture.

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