Durham's Lumiere festival attracts crowds of 175,000

People walking on Elvet Bridge Elephantastic is by French design studio Top'la

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Durham's Lumiere festival has been hailed as an "overwhelming success" by organisers after 175,000 people visited.

The event, which ended on Sunday after four nights, featured 27 light installations beamed on to buildings, including the city's Norman cathedral.

Works included a huge 3D elephant and several magnified pages from the Lindisfarne Gospels.

Durham Council leader Simon Henig said it was a "world-class" event.

The event attracted a total of 150,000 visitors when it was last held in 2011.

Organisers said problems with overcrowding, which marred that event, were addressed after consultations with Durham Police and Durham County Council.

'Economic boost'

This year, to spread the crowds, the festival extended opening times and used a free ticketed system during peak hours in the central area.

Durham Cathedral - Crown of Light by Ross Ashton, Robert Ziegler, John Del'Nero Durham Cathedral had light projections beamed on to it as part of the festival

Mr Henig said: "Lumiere 2013 has been breathtaking, thought-provoking, entertaining and an overwhelming success for tens of thousands of festival-goers and very many businesses.

"I confidently predict a very significant economic boost to the county linked to the opportunities delivered by this world-class event.

"Just as important though is the immense sense of pride we can take in knowing we have worked together to showcase just some of the very best we have to offer in County Durham."

During the event, a marriage proposal was made at Solar Equation, an animated replica 100 million times smaller than the real sun.

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