Page last updated at 10:30 GMT, Monday, 29 March 2010 11:30 UK

Jug 'links ancient and modern Ireland'

The Jug will stand in the city's Fountain Street

A street named after a fountain is the perfect spot to find a magic jug.

And a new polished jug which harks back to ancient Ireland is to stand in Fountain Street in Belfast city centre.

But how long before the Belfast jokers find a nickname for the newcomer?

A sculpture on the banks of the River Lagan called the Beacon of Hope by Andy Scott is affectionately known as "Nuala with the hula" or "The doll with the ball".

The Big Fish close by is simply "the big fish".

But in Dublin, city sculptures have spawned a wealth of nicknames.

A spire rising up in O'Connell Street has been nicknamed "the stiletto in the ghetto".

A statue of Molly Malone pushing her cart near Grafton Street is "the tart with the cart" and the Anna Livia fountain in the city centre has been tagged "the floozie in the jacuzzi" or in Dublin slang "the hoor in the sewer".


The Jug, which will stand five and a half metres tall, is based on an antique Irish water jug from 1700 and is inspired by human kindness.

Three hundred years ago a man called George McCartney diverted Muny's Well in Sandy Row to supply water to Belfast's poor in Fountain Street.

The sculpture has been commissioned by Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie.

"This is a fascinating link between the rich history of old Belfast and the dynamic, attractive modern city centre," she said.

"Belfast city centre is well on its way to having a streetscape which compares highly with out regional capital cities across Europe... Tourists are very attracted to public art, be it a little mermaid in Copenhagen or a magic jug in Belfast."

Sculptor Joss Smith designed the Magic Jug.

It will be a polished granite sculpture with a double helix tri-spiral sparkling like water rising from it and a kingfisher perched on top.

Belfast already has the Big Fish at the Lagan Weir.

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