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Last Updated: Monday, 21 July, 2003, 08:46 GMT 09:46 UK
High thrills for Sage opening
Philippe Petit
Philippe Petit says he is an "artist" of the high wire

One of the world's most famous high-wire artists is to walk across the River Tyne to mark the opening of a new music centre for the region.

Frenchman Philippe Petit shot to fame in 1974, at the age of 25, when he walked on a tightrope between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre.

Now he has announced his first UK high-wire performance, to mark the opening of The Sage music centre in Gateshead in 2005.

He will make his spectacular aerial walk over the Tyne from the Newcastle Quayside to The Sage.

He said: "To me this is theatre in the sky, and this building needs to be the focus of an opening ceremony involving both Newcastle and Gateshead

"Instantly as an artist I was drawn into the project - the landscape spoke to me immediately."

The Sage music centre has been designed by Sir Norman Foster on the Gateshead side of the River Tyne.

Mr Petit was invited to make the walk by the general director of Sage, Anthony Sargeant.

Mr Petit crossed between the two towers of the World Trade Centre in August 1974, crossing the wire eight times before being arrested by security men.





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