Kent

Night sun artwork rises over Sittingbourne

Sleepers Awake over Milton Creek
Image caption At its peak, the globe should be visible from 21 miles (34km) away

An "artificial sun" measuring more than 65ft (20m) wide has risen into the skies over Kent after being damaged.

The light-filled globe flies at up to 400ft (122m) while tied to a boat on Milton Creek near Sittingbourne.

The Sleepers Awake project's helium-filled sphere was torn by a gust of wind on 5 October, just days before its official launch date.

The outer skin of the globe suffered "fairly substantial damage", said Alan Noble from makers, Cameron Balloons.

Mr Noble added: "The repair work involved patching and welding. The specialised material that is used for the outer skin is not sewn but actually welded."

Image caption The structure contains a lighting rig powerful enough to create a vivid ball of light over the town

The structure is intended to create a vivid ball of light over Sittingbourne and is part of a regeneration project around Milton Creek Country Park.

At its peak, the globe should be visible from a distance of about 20 miles.

The artwork houses a lighting rig and is tethered by a steel cable to a platform floating on Milton Creek, which in turn will be towed by a barge, allowing the "night sun" to move across the night sky.

Brighton artists, Heather and Ivan Morison, created the project in the hope it would attract "huge numbers of night-time visitors" to the area.

Fiona Boundy, from Artlands, which commissioned the work, said: "The artwork looked amazing against a star filled night sky. Everybody is over the moon."

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