Norfolk and Norwich Festival: Cardboard 'church' erected

The 22m (72ft) People's Tower took more than eight hours to build

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A "magnificent" new structure has been added to the centre of Norwich to mark the start of the annual Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

The 22m (72ft) cardboard construction, built to emulate the St Peter Mancroft Church tower, has been created from 1,000 box "bricks" held together by more than eight miles of packing tape.

The 17-day event will feature more than 80 performances across Norfolk.

Construction of the "cardboard church" started on Saturday morning.

It took more than eight hours to construct the tower on the steps of The Forum.

Hundreds of people then came to watch it tumble to the floor, just after 18:00 BST.

'World-class' destination

Boasting free outdoor events, international contemporary and classical music, theatre, circus and dance, the festival is said to date back to 1772.

With more than 67,000 visitors last year, the event strengthens Norfolk's position "as a world-class cultural destination", claimed festival director William Galinsky.

"The excitement of bringing international artists and performers to Norfolk is matched by the privilege of providing a significant platform for artists and performers from closer to home.

"We are passionate about nurturing and developing talent from the region, giving our own artists the opportunity to learn and grow and push their talents to new heights," he said.

Pre-construction of The People's Tower, The Forum, Norwich The tower will be built in the shadow of the St Peter Mancroft Church

The People's Tower was designed by French artist Olivier GrossetĂȘte who has created similar structures across Europe. The homage to St Peter Mancroft is three-quarters the size of the real church.

More than 200 volunteers spent the week "building" the "more complicated architectural features" ready for construction to begin on the actual tower.

Councillor Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council, said: "Not only does [the festival] provide a real economic and artistic boost to our fine city of culture, it also brings enjoyment to the thousands of residents and visitors who take part each year.

The festival will mix professional artists with local talent

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