Page last updated at 14:52 GMT, Thursday, 13 November 2008

New landmark rises from rubble

sculpture drawing
A drawing of the sculpture which will stand over 120 ft high

A spherical metal sculpture standing over 120 feet high will greet people coming into Belfast from next summer.

The landmark art piece, known as 'Rise', will be placed on the former site of the Broadway roundabout, at the junction of the Westlink and M1 motorway, and will be visible for miles around the city.

The area is currently a huge building site as a multi-million road improvement programme nears completion.

In nine months' time, however, 500,000 cars a week will be flowing past the huge artwork.

The work is described by its creator as being "a representation of a new sun rising to celebrate a new chapter in the history of Belfast".

Sculptor Wolfgang Buttress was selected after a competition involving over 40 international artists.

He has produced public art pieces for cities across the UK and has exhibited his work in Japan and the USA.

Rise sculptor
Wolfgang Buttress will turn his scale model into the real thing next summer

The sculpture will be brought over to Belfast in individual pieces and put together on site "like a giant Meccano set", said the artist.

He will hold workshops with people in the neighbouring areas of St James', close to the Falls Road, and the Village, to put the final touches to the piece.

"It's a big, bold, confident statement about Belfast. It's saying 'you've arrived'," said Ian Davidson of the Arts Council, which helped fund the project with the city council and Department of Social Development.

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