VIDEO: Giant rotor blade appears in Hull city centre

The blade being lifted into place
The blade being lifted into place
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The latest event set to dazzle as part of Hull UK City of Culture is currently being unveiled in the city centre - a giant blade which was lifted into a city-centre square overnight.

The rotor blade, which is this morning being moved into place, was made by workers at the Siemens factory and craned into Queen Victoria Square in the early hours of this morning (Sunday) in a hush-hush operation.

Traffic lights and lampposts had to be taken out to ensure the nerve-racking operation was a success.

The blade is expected to be in position properly by lunchtime.

The imposing 75m blade, placed on bespoke supports, cuts across the square from Savile Street to Carr Lane - where it rises to 5m allowing double-decker buses to pass underneath.

Its installation was 12 months in the planning. Arup Project Director, Richard Bickers said: “Blade is not only a dramatic artistic installation, but in terms of its transportation and exhibition, a significant engineering feat. A major challenge we encountered was manoeuvring the 75 metre long, 25 tonne structure through Hull’s narrow city centre streets.

"Over 50 items of street furniture, including traffic lights and lamp posts, had to be temporarily removed so it could be securely and elegantly set in place”.

The artwork was the brainchild of multi-media artist Nayan Kulkarni, who said he wanted to transform the way people saw the space.

Kulkarni said: "This will be a profound material gesture, a spectacle, an obstacle and an object of wonder."

The Siemens blade factory, a £310m joint venture with ABP, which will manufacture hundreds of blades for wind farms in the North Sea, officially opened last month.

Siemens UK Chief Executive Juergen Maier said: "Blade brings to life the engineering and manufacturing excellence of which we are so proud and makes it tangible for the people of Hull and visitors to the city. It feels perfect that Blade – one of hundreds of 75 metre blades we will manufacture in Hull every year – will be a prominent feature during the City of Culture Made in Hull season.

"We hope people enjoy it. When people see our blades close up they often comment on how beautifully crafted they are. This installation will enable many thousands of people to appreciate that beauty and scale, in the very heart of the city.”

Chief executive of Hull 2017 Martin Green said: "It's a structure we would normally expect out at sea and in a way it might remind you of a giant sea creature, which seems appropriate with Hull's maritime history.

"It's a magnificent start to our Look Up programme, which will see artists creating sight specific work throughout 2017 for locations around the city."

Blade will remain in Queen Victoria Square until March 18.