Liverpool goes bananas over its yellow sculpture

THE latest bizarre addition to the Liverpool skyline - a giant half-lamb, half-banana sculpture - is manoeuvred into position.

The seven-and-a-half tonne concrete and steel piece, titled Super Lamb Banana and designed by the Japanese artist Taro Chiezo, was craned into place at the Ventilation Building, Pier Head, near the city's Albert Dock, yesterday.

More than five metres high and five metres long, the bright yellow sculpture features a lamb's head and body sweeping into the shape of a banana. It was built by four local sculptors Andy Small, Julian Taylor, Ray Stokes and Tommy Reason, using the designer's model.

Mr Small said: "Taro sent us a 10cm model, and we built it on a scale of 50 to 1. It's a playful image, and hopefully represents an exciting, innovative future for our city."

Super Lamb Banana is one of more than 50 works commissioned for the Artranspennine98 exhibition, which opens on 23 May.

Organised by the Tate Gallery Liverpool and the Henry Moore Sculpture Trust in collaboration with private and public sponsors, the exhibition features the work of more than 50 artists from 15 countries. The work is being shown in museums and more unconventional locations in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Hull, as well as the surrounding countryside.

Photograph: Rich Marsham/nti