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Windmill to float on the Tyne

An environmentally sustainable watermill created to float on the River Tyne is among 12 specially commissioned artworks being created for the London 2012 Games.

The Arts Councils of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales joined forces to launch the £5.4 million project competition with London 2012 in March to find special works for use in the run-up to the Games.

More than 2,000 entries were received in what was dubbed “the most ambitious and wide-ranging art prize in the UK”.

The artists, representing nine English regions plus Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, were asked to suggest work that is inspired by their location ahead of a big celebration before the start of the Games.

Moira Sinclair, executive director of Arts Council England, London, predicted that the pieces, to be developed throughout 2010 and 2011, will “redefine what public art will mean in 2012”.

The winning artists in the nine English regions, all chosen by a panel of artists and producers, receive £500,000 each.

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe said: “The winning commissions will be the catalyst for a truly national showcase of culture inspired by the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.”

The other winning commissions include three 30ft hand-crocheted lions in Nottingham, LED panels on the roofs of London bus stops, a spinning column of cloud and light over Birkenhead, and a full-sized football pitch created in woodland to the south of Edinburgh.

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