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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 April 2007, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Spire of hope to light up city
An artist's impression of the new cathedral spire
An artist's impression of the new cathedral spire
A landmark cathedral in Belfast is about to get a new spire... a modern beacon of light for the city.

It is a 100-metre-high stainless steel needle which will tower above St Anne's Cathedral in Donegall Street.

The first section of the so-called spire of hope was manoeuvred into place on Thursday.

Dean Houston McKelvey said he hoped that the spire would become iconic, part of the skyline image of Belfast across the world.

The dean said the 850,000 project was money well spent.

"Particularly at night time, we would like to think that this becomes an icon over the city and, indeed, we are hopeful that this spire, when it is erected will be part of the image of Belfast and this community worldwide," he said.

Two powerful cranes helped slot the first section of the spire into place.

Passers-by had divided opinions on the structure.

"It is not really a spire, it is more like some sort of needle," said one.

Another said: "It is a very imaginative step that the Dean has taken and I think it will only add considerably to the cathedral."

When it is in place, the base of the spire will stand inside the cathedral itself, drawing visitors to the site.

Public reaction to the new landmark

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