Steel sculpture set to debut at global festival

Artist Steve Mehdi with his Man of Steel in the Snuff Mill Body shop in Sheffield  See Story Martin Slack Picture Chris Lawton   '28/02/13
Artist Steve Mehdi with his Man of Steel in the Snuff Mill Body shop in Sheffield See Story Martin Slack Picture Chris Lawton '28/02/13
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A FOUR-METRE model of the Man of Steel – the giant sculpture designed to overlook the M1 to the east of Sheffield – is to make its debut at the Global Manufacturing Festival.

Delegates will see the prototype before it goes on display at Magna in Rotherham and Sheffield’s Kelham Island Industrial Museum during the centenary of the invention of stainless steel.

The project aims to reflect the area’s industrial heritage and highlight new materials technologies being developed at places such as the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Catcliffe, Rotherham – where the festival is being held from Wednesday to Friday, April 17 to 19.

The model features a 2metre-high seated steel man atop a 2metre column of coal.

The 30metre-high final version will sit on a hill at Kimberworth, visible from the M1. The coal column is designed to accommodate a visitor centre and education facilities.

The festival appearance will raise its profile and be a launchpad for a £2.7 million fundraising drive.

Sculptor Steve Mehdi said: “It has cost an enormous sum to get to this stage and everyone has made contributions with a belief the project will benefit the community for many generations.”