The Angel of the North is a contemporary sculpture, designed by Antony Gormley, which is located in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England.

It is a steel sculpture of an angel, 20 metres (66 ft) tall, with wings measuring 54 metres (177 ft) across. The wings do not stand straight sideways, but are angled 3.5 degrees forward; Gormley did this to create “a sense of embrace”.

It stands on a hill on the southern edge of Low Fell, overlooking the A1 and A167 roads into Tyneside, and the East Coast Main Line rail route, south of the site of Team Colliery.

According to Gormley, the significance of an angel was three-fold: first, to signify that beneath the site of its construction, coal miners worked for two centuries; second, to grasp the transition from an industrial to information age, and third, to serve as a focus for our evolving hopes and fears.

Work began on the project in 1994 and cost £1 million. Most of the project funding was provided by the National Lottery. The Angel was finished on 16 February 1998.

Due to its exposed location, the sculpture was built to withstand winds of over 100 mph (160 km/h). Thus, foundations containing 600 tonnes of concrete anchor the sculpture to rock 70 feet (21 m) below. The sculpture was built at Hartlepool Steel Fabrications Ltd using Corten weather resistant steel. It was made in three parts—with the body weighing 100 tonnes and two wings weighing 50 tonnes each—then brought to its site by road. It took five hours for the body to be transported from its construction site in Hartlepool, up theA19 road to the site.

The Angel aroused some controversy in British newspapers, at first, including a “Gateshead stop the statue” campaign, while local councillor Martin Callanan was especially strong in his opposition. However, it has since been considered to be a landmark for North East England and has been listed by one organisation as an “Icon of England”. It has often been used in film and television to represent Tyneside, as are other local landmarks such as the Tyne Bridge and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

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