Page last updated at 05:28 GMT, Thursday, 15 April 2004 06:28 UK

Art lovers can 'text' sculpture

The Spectra-txt changes colour when called by a mobile phone

Mobile phones are the key to the north-east of England's newest piece of public art.

Spectra-txt is a 30ft high metal tower, which changes colour when people "call" it on their mobiles.

The 80,000 structure, created by West Country artist and sculpture Peter Freeman, is now a feature of Middlesbrough town centre.

Mobile phone users can "programme" it by sending it a special text message to change the lighting effect.

Mr Freeman said he used the travels of Captain Cook and Ridley Scott's science fiction film Blade Runner as inspiration.

The tower is sited at the junction of Linthorpe and Newport Road in Middlesbrough.

Mayor Ray Mallon was due to launch Spectra-txt on Thursday at dusk by sending one of the first messages.

Pupils from Captain Cook Primary School in Marton were also due to reveal the 11-digit mobile phone number that can be accessed from all over the world to send one of the six special text message commands.

Mr Freeman said: "I was inspired by the travels of Captain Cook to Tahiti.

"The image of him arriving must have been something wondrous.

"I also heard about Ridley Scott using the skyline of the chemical complexes on Teesside for his film Blade Runner."

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