Naked woman Northumberlandia takes shape over mine

The massive artwork, which is halfway to completion, has provoked a mixed response from locals

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A giant naked reclining woman is taking shape at the site of an open cast mine in Northumberland.

Northumberlandia, a massive outdoor artwork, is being created from 1.5 million tonnes of earth excavated from the Shotton mine, near Cramlington.

When fully complete in 2013 it will be 111.5ft (34m) high, taller than the Angel of the North, and 1,312ft (400m) long.

There will also be a public park surrounding it.

It is hoped the sculpture will attract thousands of visitors a year to south east Northumberland.

The £2.5m cost is being jointly funded by the landowners, Blagdon Estate, and the developers of the adjacent surface mine, the Banks Group.

Viewing the ongoing work, designer Charles Jencks said that it appeared much larger than he expected.

He said: "If you put anything into a big sky like this it disappears, you have to make a really bold gesture.

"You have to accentuate and exaggerate things, the lips for instance.

"We're all attracted to the face. We have more neurons to identify people than in any other parts of the brain, so it's the face that attracts you."

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