A giant 62ft Celtic Cross which will rival the Angel of the North is to be built in Cornwall, it was announced today.
The £450,000 installation – which will be six inches taller than its Newcastle counterpart – was designed 11 years ago.
It has finally been given planning approval to be erected on scrubland in Saltash, Cornwall next summer.
Critics branded the Celtic Cross ”a waste of money”, which they say could better be ploughed into community projects like an orchard or picturesque gardens.
Resident Sharon Lambert said: ”Better facilities should be planned for the site – such as a community orchard, a fitness trail and a sensory garden – this is a waste of money.”
The National Lottery’s Community Spaces initiative awarded £450,000 to the project which will welcome visitors travelling on the A38 into Cornwall.
Project leader Joe Ellison said the award for the initiative – which was met with some opposition – would compete with the Angel of the North, in Gateshead.
”Like nothing you have ever seen before”
He said: ”I’m absolutely delighted. All the design work is complete and it will be going out to tender shortly.
”Saltash is arguably the most innovative town in Cornwall, and has recently been declared the most desirable postcode in the UK.
”This project will add to the environmental regeneration of the town and Waterside area. It is expected to be completed over a two year period.”
Tim Smith, co-founder of the Eden Project, backed the new sculpture and played a key role in the application process.
He said: ”The Angel of the North was considered ugly by some, but now it’s widely seen as a masterpiece.”
The Celtic Cross, which will be six inches taller than the Gateshead Angel, was designed by sculptor Simon Thomas, 44.
Mr Thomas said the design is ”like nothing you have ever seen before” and will be cast in concrete and clad in copper and gold.
Stainless steel ”rays”, specially treated to avoid dazzling drivers will surround the cross and its position will allow it to catch the sun’s rays as it rises and sets.
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