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Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Thursday, 12 August 2010 13:34 UK
Giant carved head turns heads on Barmouth dunes

Carved head.  Thanks to Eric Scadding for contributing this picture
The carved head is believed to be made out of oak

A mysterious carved head has recently appeared on Ynys-y-Brawd dunes on Barmouth's sea front.

At three metres high, the wooden carving of an Easter Island Maoi man has been a great hit with tourists, though few know where he came from.

"We like to say the head just appeared overnight," said local businessman Greg Courney of BRIG, the Barmouth Resort Improvement Group.

"I think it made its way here because it's in the shadow of the Sleeping Giant, a hill beneath Cader Idris which looks like a giant's head."

In reality, the head was donated by a Midlands couple who saw it being carved at Powys Castle, and decided to buy it for their garden for 10 years before passing it on to the people of Barmouth.

"I think it gives out an environmental message about preservation," said Greg, reminding us that deforestation and rising sea levels are threatening communities like the Maoi people of the Pacific's Easter islands.

"I was there at the weekend, and it's getting quite a bit of attention," said frequent Barmouth visitor, Philip Parkes.

"It's on the sand dunes: there's a concrete path which leads from the yacht Club, and you can't really miss it. The head is facing out to sea and it's about three metres tall!

"They needed a small JCB to get the thing out there and there are substantial timbers underneath, so it won't topple over."

Greg says the couple who donated it would rather stay anonymous, but he is certainly happy with the sculpture's positive effect.

"It's become one of the most popular photographic sites in the resort," he said. "It's definitely a talking point and one of the biggest visitor attractions in town."




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