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Pink Floyd welcome home album's giant inflatable pig Algie

Published 28/08/2015

A giant inflatable pig flies above Battersea Power Station during a recreation of the cover of the Pink Floyd album Animals
A giant inflatable pig flies above Battersea Power Station during a recreation of the cover of the Pink Floyd album Animals

Pink Floyd are to rehome a giant inflatable pig which featured on the cover of one of their hit albums, after the neglected creature was mistakenly listed for auction.

The blow-up animal, which measures 40ft (12m) in length, was famously flown above Battersea Power Station in London in 1976, but caused disruption to flights from Heathrow airport when it broke free and blew off into the sky. It was later recovered from a field in Kent.

A picture of the floating pig, known as Algie, became the cover of Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals.

The helium balloon was listed for sale next month by Durrants auctioneers, alongside a number of items of memorabilia from Suffolk-based inflatable maker Air Artists, which were cleared out from their workshop.

But Air Artists' owner Robin Harries, 68, who was given the pig by Pink Floyd, said the item would instead be returned to the band's management and has withdrawn it from the sale.

Mr Harries said: " The auctioneers rather jumped the gun with the list I provided them and publicised the fact that the Pink Floyd pig might be one of the lots.

"But in fact I thought I should offer it back to Pink Floyd, and they do want to welcome it home again."

The location of Algie's future home remains uncertain, but Mr Harries said there had had been "lots of talk" of a Pink Floyd exhibition, adding: "H opefully this pig will spur them on to get on with that."

Mr Harries, who has been making balloons for over 40 years, was approached by Pink Floyd in 1987 to create a new pig after member Roger Waters left the band, taking the rights to Algie with him. He said he was told, "make sure it doesn't look like that one".

" I made the new pig and I thought I'm not going to throw the old one away, even though it's been condemned, so I just kept it ever since," Mr Harries said.

He added that he would not miss the giant pig, describing it as "ju st another hamper in a workshop full of stuff".

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