Posted May 5th 2016

Metal can be used for many things but one thing it has always been popular as is a material used to sculpt. Below we take a look at some of the most famous metals sculptures worldwide and their significance.

The Angel of the North, Gateshead

Located near Gateshead in Tyne and Wear, the Angel of the North spread its wings in 1998. Designed by Sir Antony Gormley, the angel stands 20 metres tall with wings measuring 54 metres across. It is sculpted from weather-resistant steel in Hartlepool and took 5 hours to be transported from the site of construction to its destination. It also contains a tiny amount of copper that allows for a patina on the surface that mellows with age. Not only the largest sculpture in Britain, it is believed to be the largest angel sculpture in the world, and is one of the regions most famous artworks.

The Hollywood Sign, LA

Sitting high above the Hollywood Hills in LA, the famous Hollywood Sign rests on Mount Lee in the Santa Monica mountains. The 45 foot tall white letters stretch out for 350 feet and have become one of the most famous landmarks of the area, frequently appearing in popular culture. The sign was first erected in 1923 made from a combination of wood and sheet metal. It originally spelled out Hollywoodland and was covered in 4,000 light bulbs which would flash on and off intermittently. The original sign was only intended to last a year and a half, however, after the rise of American cinema it became an internationally recognized symbol and was left standing. Not surprisingly, the sign deteriorated rapidly and in 1978 it was fully restored with replacement letters made of steel and supporting steel columns.

The Statue of Liberty, New York

Perhaps one of the most recognisable statues of all time, the Statue of Liberty is a colossal structure in New York harbor made of a mix of copper, wrought iron and steel. A gift from the people of France to the United States, the statue is a symbol of freedom and democracy. She stands at a total height of 305 feet and 6 inches, when measure from base to the tip of her torch and weighs 225 tonnes. Although not originally included in the design of the statue, during her restoration in 1986 the torch was carefully covered with thin sheets of 24 carat gold. Here light green tinge is the result of the copper used for her skin, which is less than an inch thick.

The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen

The Little Mermaid was designed by Edvard Eriksen and is a bronze statue that depicts a mermaid sitting on a rock at the waterside in Copenhagen. Based on the fairytale by Danish author Hans Christian Anderson, the statue is a popular tourist attraction and an iconic symbol of the city. Although she has been vandalized several times since her unveiling in 1913, the statue is always lovingly restored. According to legend the statue that sits in the water at Copenhagen is not the original, rather the original is kept in a secret place by the Eriksen heirs.