Belfast harbour seahorse sculpture makes a splash at port entrance
An eight-metre tall seahorse sculpture reflecting Belfast's maritime history has been erected at the city's port entrance.
The public artwork was commissioned by Belfast Harbour as part of its 400th anniversary.
For centuries, depictions of the ocean creature have been used in city imagery to symbolise its seafaring traditions.
It was printed on coins throughout the 17th century and two seahorses still have a place on Belfast's coat of arms.
The new sculpture, which has been installed on Dargan Road on the north side of Belfast Lough, was created by renowned German artist Ralf Sander, who is a reader in fine art at the University of Ulster.
Mr Sander joined Lord Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir and Belfast Harbour chairman Len O'Hagan at the unveiling yesterday.
"Given the myths and legends surrounding the seahorse, I believe that the sculpture has the potential to become a symbolic unifying 'mascot' for the people of Belfast," said the sculptor.
Mr O'Hagan said: "We believe the Belfast Seahorse will very soon become one of the city's most iconic images.
"As well as the many close historical links to the city of Belfast and its port, there are a number of myths and legends surrounding the seahorse which add to the mystique of the sculpture."
The mayor said: "The choice of a seahorse is particularly poignant, given the two seahorses in the city's coat of arms."