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Massive steel sculpture takes pride of place on Belgian highway

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LAVAUX-SAINTE-ANNE, BELGIUM (Reuters) – A 60-metre tall semi-circle of steel solid to look from a distance like a towering however incomplete ring, is about to shock drivers taking a scenic tour within the south of Belgium to France or Luxembourg.

Designed by French conceptual artist Bernar Venet and known as L’Arc Majeur, the large sculpture was put in on Tuesday at Lavaux-Sainte-Anne, a small city alongside the busy 411 highway.

“Today we are installing, what everybody agrees to say, the biggest sculpture in the world,” mentioned Venet. “But I hope the artistic meaning of this arch will be more important than its size.”

“The perception for the drivers is the most important. Because of the natural steel color after oxidation, it looks especially spectacular during sunset,” he mentioned, calling the venture the conclusion of a 35-year dream.

Venet had initially wished to put in the sculpture, created from 200 tonnes of steel and set in 2,800 tonnes of concrete, in France however bumped into numerous obstacles and ultimately discovered a house for it in Belgium.

“Two hundred meetings with French, and it didn’t work for so many years. One week of talks in Belgium, and it’s done,” mentioned Venet, who was awarded the International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award in 2016.

Reporting by Alexandra Regida; Editing by Foo Yun Chee


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