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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 February, 2005, 14:28 GMT
Liver Bird inspires artist Emin
Tracey Emin
Tracey Emin said Liverpool was 'one of her favourite cities'
Controversial artist Tracey Emin's first piece of public art is to be built in Liverpool.

The Roman Standard - featuring a small bird on top of a four-metre high bronze pole - is meant to be a tribute to the city's famous symbol, the Liver Bird.

Commissioned by the BBC as part of the art05 contest, it will stand outside The Oratory, near the Anglican Cathedral, in Upper Duke Street.

Ms Emin said she chose Liverpool for its "neo-Roman" architecture.

Previous works, such as Everyone I Have Ever Slept With - a tent with names embroidered on it - have provoked debate about the direction of modern art in the past.

Sketch by Tracey Emin of her Roman Standard sculpture
Ms Emin's sculpture will stand outside The Oratory

She said the sculpture would be a symbol of "hope, faith and spirituality", adding: "Liverpool has been one of my favourite cities since I first visited."

She added: "I've always had the idea that birds are the angels of this earth and that they represent freedom.

"My Roman Standard represents strength but also femininity. Most public sculptures are a symbol of power which I find oppressive and dark."

10,000 cheques

The sculpture, which is due to be erected on 24 February, will be placed behind The Oratory gates.

Alan Yentob, creative director of the BBC, said: "From its very earliest days when Eric Gill was commissioned to create statues of Ariel and Prospero on the new Broadcasting House in London, the BBC has been a supporter of the visual arts.

"I'm delighted that the BBC is continuing in that tradition today and that we have enabled Tracey Emin to create her first work of public art."

Art05 is the second annual Arts Council England event for the North West.

Ms Emin will present two 10,000 cheques to the winners of art05 at the unveiling of her sculpture.


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