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Last Updated: Monday, 23 July 2007, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
Public art project for M62 site
Sutton Manor Colliery
The artwork will be visible from the M62
Spanish artist Jaume Plensa has been commissioned to design a landmark piece of public art in St Helens.

The sculpture has the working title "Ex Terra Lucem" - meaning out of the earth comes light - and will be built on the former site of Sutton Manor Colliery.

It will be clearly visible from the M62 between Manchester and Liverpool when it is completed in 2008.

Plensa's famous artworks include a sculpted and illuminated glass dome for the BBC's Broadcasting House in London.

He is also behind the Crown Fountain in the centre of Chicago.

The St Helens sculpture will be built as part of a Channel 4 series, called Big Art Project.

The passion of the former miners I have met is truly inspirational
Jaume Plensa

The scheme also involves the local community with ex-miners from the colliery set to form part of a focus group that will have a say on the final outcome.

Mr Plensa said he fell in love with the site.

"The spectacular setting, proud heritage, vision for the future, and the warmth, humour and passion of the former miners I have met are all truly inspirational," he said.

"To have been invited to capture the essence, hopes, and aspirations of a whole community on this scale is a great honour but also an awesome responsibility."

Councillor Brian Spencer, the Leader of St Helens Council said: "This landmark new artwork will not only put St Helens on the map, but will also have a major positive impact on the rest of Merseyside and the North West in terms of the significant economic and cultural benefits it will bring."

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