She stands ten meters high – the height of two London double decker buses – and she is beautiful. Her name is Arria and she will guard the entrance to the Scottish town of Cumbernauld, a symbol at once of its aspirations and potential for renaissance.
Facebook Page too, so if you like her, give her the thumbs up!
Arria Fadilla, from whom the statue takes its name was the mother of Emperor Antoninus who ordered the construction of the wall. The name was chosen as a result of a competition. Of course, we also know aria as a type of song commonly found in operas, and the sculpture does indeed, with her arms outretched, look as if she is about to burst in to song - like some sort of four armed sixties pop diva.
behind the scenes glimpse of her creation.
Of course, she may end up being better known by a nick name - and the most popular one at the moment seems to be The Metal Mermaid.
Arria did not come cheap – she cost over a quarter of a million pounds (as part of the Cumbernauld Positive Image Project) but the local council is delighted with the work and it is hoped that Arria will bring pleasure to the many millions of people who will pass her each year.
And what a wonderful metaphor Arria is! Perhaps she is a talisman for the town and knows that the fortunes of Cumbernauld are about to improve. After all, four armed is forewarned.
All images courtway of Cumbernauld Positive Image Project and North Lanarkshire Council.