Northumberlandia: Princess Royal opens naked sculpture

media captionNaked woman sculpture legacy for coal mining

A huge reclining naked woman sculptured into the Northumberland landscape, has been officially declared complete by the Princess Royal.

At 1,300ft (396m) long Northumberlandia at Cramlington, is the world's largest human form sculpted into the landscape.

It will open to the public from Wednesday, after the private ceremony attended by Princess Anne.

The £3m sculpture has been shaped from the rock and waste from a surface mine on land owned by Viscount Ridley.

Northumberlandia, which took two years to construct, was formed as a lasting legacy in recompense for the disruption caused by coal extraction at what was the largest mine of its kind in England.

image captionThe Princess Royal was given a tour of the landscape sculpture

Katie Perkin, of the Banks mining group, which is behind the project, believes Northumberlandia will rival the popularity of the Angel of the North, 12 miles away in Gateshead.

She said: "People have already taken Northumberlandia to their hearts.

"There was no intention to make a Pagan figure or mimic any ancient fertility symbols, despite her breasts which rise almost 100ft above the ground.

"Charles Jencks, the American artist who designed her, saw the far-off Cheviot Hills which look like a reclining woman.

"He has borrowed from the landscape and drawn those curves and lines into the form.

"Northumberlandia is just a lady, she doesn't represent anything, but I think it's understandable that people have their own interpretations."

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