May 2, 2013 9:18 pm

Slag Alice is Europe’s longest sculpture

From Mr Ben Hopkinson.

Sir, You describe Slipstream, unveiled last week ahead of its move to Heathrow airport, as the longest sculpture in Europe (“How Europe’s longest sculpture saw business take off at CSi”, report, April 26.)

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I think not. Passengers on trains north of Newcastle upon Tyne
can see the real one, and, indeed, what is claimed to be the largest sculpture of a woman in the world.

Officially she is called Northumberlandia, but is usually known locally as “Slag Alice” (because she has been made from slag heap spoil – no other interpretation be alleged against the local Geordies). She is the creation of an American landscape architect, Charles Jencks, and her £1.5m dowry was funded by the Blagdon Estate and the Banks Group. The buxom and magnificent lady is made of 1.5m tonnes of earth, is 34m high and 400m long, set in a 19 hectares (47 acres) public park. Travelling north, look to the left, about 10 minutes out of Newcastle. In the snowy weather her cheeks were gently powdered white, while her nose stood out, gaunt. Tell that to Heathrow.

Ben Hopkinson, Warkworth, Northumberland, UK

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