Artist creates Giant sand sculpture
A giant task to re-create one of the world's most famous landscapes using a bucket and spade has started in Belfast.
The 18-tonne sand sculpture of the Giant's Causeway is being built not on a beach, but in the middle of a busy shopping centre.
Yorkshire-born artist Paul Hoggard started shaping the first distinctive hexagonal stones in the city's Victoria Centre on Tuesday, after spending much of the previous day shovelling in his raw materials.
"It nearly broke my back," he said.
"Eight hours of shovelling, you need to have the fitness of an athlete.
"But now I'm getting on with the sculpture and can be a little bit more artist; now I need the skills of a surgeon."
Working alongside his wife Remy and a student helper, Mr Hoggard intends to have the huge temporary artwork finished by the end of the week.
Commissioned in conjunction with the National Trust, it is hoped the novel project will inspire locals and tourists alike to go and visit the real thing on Antrim's north coast this summer.
Hoggard, who now lives on a farm in Bulgaria, has been sculpting full time since first trying his hand at the art form in India 20 years ago.
He has more than 1,000 works to his name, in locations all over the world.