Spanish Osborne bull going up in Melilla in North Africa

Image caption,
The bulls have been blamed for traffic accidents

A huge bull, a Spanish national symbol, is to be erected in the enclave of Melilla in North Africa, officials say.

The 14m (50ft) metal Osborne bull silhouettes were originally an advert for brandy but the slogans have been taken off and there are now 88 dotted around Spain.

Correspondents say the move is likely to enrage the authorities in Morocco, which claims Melilla and the other Spanish enclave, Ceuta.

Spain conquered Melilla in 1497.

A Melilla spokesman told the ABC newspaper that the silhouette would be "easily visible" in the surrounding area.

A bull "will cross the Strait of Gibraltar for the first time and be installed in North Africa", the daily El Mundo said.

Correspondents say the decision by Melilla to erect the bull came after a campaign on the social networking site Facebook. The local government is reported to be financing its construction.

The bulls were originally erected in 1956 by the Osborne Group to promote its brandy.

In 1994, the government tried to take them down on the basis that they were distracting drivers and causing traffic accidents.

After a public outcry, the Supreme Court rejected the move and said the bulls were now "integrated into the countryside".

They are usually sited on low hilltops so they can be clearly seen against the sky.

There are also a few in Mexico.

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