In Pictures: 20 images to mark the Angel of the North’s 20th birthday

The steel figure took two days to erect beside the A1 in Gateshead in 1998.

Press Association
Last updated: 22 February 2018 - 8.44pm

The Angel of the North is turning 20.

The 200-tonne steel figure, created by Sir Antony Gormley, took two days to erect beside the A1 in Gateshead in 1998 and has become one of Britain’s most recognised pieces of public art.

Angel of the North 20th anniversary
Workmen putting the finishing touches to the Angel of the North (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
Sculptor Sir Antony Gormley in front of his creation (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
The wings being attached to the Angel of the North (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
Locals gathering to watch the wings being attached to the giant sculpture (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
Before it was erected over February 14 and 15 in 1998, feelings about the Angel were mixed (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
There was some anger at the £800,000 price tag (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
There were concerns about how the engineering would keep it upright during storms (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
Others feared it could distract motorists and cause accidents (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
The late art critic Brian Sewell even branded it a ‘totem’ and ‘bad engineering’ (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
But the criticism has largely been forgotten as it has been embraced as a symbol of the North (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
The Angel of the North was built on the site of the Lower Tyne Colliery pithead baths (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
The area was mined from some time in the 1720s to the late 1960s and was set aside for a public art project in 1990 (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
Sir Antony Gormley’s design was chosen from a shortlist of international artists in 1994 (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
The statue is 65ft (20m) tall with a wingspan of 177ft (54m) – wider than that of a Boeing 767 (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
With its exposed hillside position, the Angel’s wings and foundations had to be built to withstand strong south-easterly winds of up to 100 miles an hour (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
The 500-tonne concrete foundations were drilled into solid rock (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
The figure was made from 200 tonnes of steel – the body weighs 100 tonnes and each wing weighs 50 tonnes (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
A celebration with cake will be held on February 15 at the Angel (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
Pro-hunting campaigners standing under a huge banner hung from the sculpture (John Giles/PA)
Angel of the North 20th anniversary
A torchbearer posing under the Angel of the North as she carries the Olympic Flame (Yui Mok/PA)

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