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Page last updated at 11:08 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010
Liverpool's Chinese arch ten years standing

BBC North West Tonight reports on the opening ceremony for Liverpool's Chinese arch in 2000

Liverpool's Chinese Arch is marking its tenth anniversary of dominating the entrance to the city's Chinatown.

At 13.5 metres high the arch is the largest in Europe and the biggest standing in any Chinatown outside of mainland China.

The arch was made from block components which were shipped from China to Liverpool in five large containers.

Containing 200 hand carved dragons the arch was constructed by a team of 20 workers from Shanghai in under 90 days.

The craftspeople from Liverpool's twin city included stone masons, stone carvers, painters and construction engineers who travelled from Shanghai to Liverpool in October 1999.

Chinese New Year celebrations
Chinese New Year celebrations with Liverpool's arch in the background

Liverpool has one of the oldest Chinese communities in Europe. The celebrations of the Year of the Dragon in February 2000 were the first to be held under the arch.

Speaking at the opening of the arch in 2000, Brian Wong, the chair of Liverpool Chinatown Business Association, said he hoped the arch would boost Chinatown's economy, "It's a catalyst for inward investment," he told BBC North West Tonight.

"The confidence is here now and we can bring more investment to these areas and that's most important I think in for inward investment in this area."

The arch has been the focus of Liverpool's Chinese New Year celebrations every year since. The 188 ordinary dragons and 12 pregnant dragons on the arch are a symbol of good fortune between Liverpool and Shanghai.

Liverpool is the only UK exhibitor at the World Expo 2010 which opens in Shanghai in May.

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