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Enter the dragon?


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Enter the dragon: England has the Angel Of The North (and a giant horse coming soon). Now Wales wants a 200ft sculpture to roar across the border

 

 

By Jaya Narain

Last updated at 3:40 AM on 02nd March 2010

 

 

His gaze fixed towards England across the border, this ferocious dragon could be Wales's answer to the Statue of Liberty or the Angel of the North.

 

At 210ft, the sculpture is set to become the tallest public artwork in the UK, and a focus for Welsh pride.

 

Or, as England already boasts the Angel Of The North and the prospect of a 164ft horse in Kent, dubbed the Angel Of The South, it could be interpreted as a touch of national one-upmanship. You've got two? Well, we'll we'd better have one then.

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Billed as Wales' answer to the Angel Of The North or the Statue Of Liberty, it aims to become a focus for national pride

 

 

 

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I've got this idea ...Simon Wingett (left) with artist Steve Winterburn, who has constructed a scale model of the sculpture

 

 

 

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This is an artist's impression of how Mark Wallinger's £2million structure, dubbed the Angel Of The South, will look once it is built in the Kent countryside

 

 

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Antony Gormley's much admired structure outside Newcastle, The Angel Of The North

The bronze dragon would be 75ft tall on a 135ft glass and steel tower and have a wingspan of more than 150ft - bigger than a Boeing 737.

 

The £6million project, called Waking the Dragon, is the brainchild of Simon Wingett, 54, who plans to build it without any taxpayers' money.

 

Mr Wingett, an art dealer, says he will raise the cash through commercial sponsorship.

 

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He would also charge £2,000 for dedications on the internal staircase to the top of the structure, from which visitors would have panoramic views. Thankfully, there would also be a lift.

The development would sit within a landscape of formal and informal pathways planted with oak trees.

Visitors would enter at the base of the tower where there would be interactive displays and an opportunity to learn about Welsh history and culture.

Next to the tower would be a state-of-the-art cultural centre along with a 100 seat cafe/bar and 125 seat restaurant and a museum.

The area immediately around the building would depict the four branches of ancient Welsh folklore tale, the Mabinogion.

Mr Wingett has already started the planning process for the development near Chirk, North Wales, which he believes could create up to 50 jobs.

 

His aim is to commemorate his father, businessman Frank Wingett, who died from throat cancer in 1988.

 

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The area immediately around the building would depict various branches of the Mabinogion, the ancient Welsh folklore tale

 

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From its location near Chirk, North Wales, the structure would provide views across Wrexham and the borderlands

 

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The structure will be built in Chirk which is where this castle, completed in 1310, stands. It is the last Welsh castle from the reign of Edward I still lived in today. Features from its 700 years include a medieval tower and dungeon

Unveiling the plans yesterday - St David's Day - he said: 'The whole place will be mythology brought to life. The theme is awakening the dragon in the fight against cancer.'

 

'We want people seeing the dragon, which will be visible for miles around, to get the impression that it has either just landed or is about to take off.'

 

 

 

WHAT IS THE MABINOGION?

 

 

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The Mabinogion is a collection of Welsh prose tales of the 11th and 13th century dealing with Celtic legends and mythology. The stories gave rise to the red dragon as the symbol of Wales's fighting spirit, as it fights and defeats a white dragon representing the invading Saxons. Much of the poetic, flamboyant writing centres on the main character of Pryderi, who disappears on the night of his birth, before returning to become King of Dyfed, located in the west of modern-day Wales.

 

 

He added: 'We have already started the planning process and, if we are successful, the intention is to begin building in August to mark the 150th anniversary of the National Eisteddfod coming to Wrexham.

Mr Wingett, of Erbistock, near Wrexham, hopes building work will start in August, and that the tower will be open by September next year.

 

Aled Roberts, leader of Wrexham Council, said: 'It will not only celebrate our unique heritage and culture, it will also boost the local economy with the creation of jobs and draw in a huge number of tourists.'

 

'The dragon's location will provide unrivalled views across Wrexham and the surrounding borderlands and I have no doubt we will receive visitors not only from Wales but from the whole of the UK, who will want to see this amazing dragon for themselves.'

The tallest sculpture in the world is the 502ft Spring Temple Buddha in Henan, China.

 

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1254638/The-200ft-dragon-set-tallest-sculpture-Britain.html#ixzz0gzS1NlZ1

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