Celebrations are being held to mark the Angel of the North turning 20.

Sir Antony Gormley's 200-tonne steel figure took two days to erect beside the A1 in Gateshead.

Since then it has weathered sun, rain and snow to become one of Britain's best loved and most recognised pieces of public art.

Before it was erected over February 14 and 15 in 1998, feelings about the Angel were mixed, with some anger at the £800,000 price tag and even complaints that it resembled a 1930s Nazi sculpture.

There were concerns about how the engineering would keep it upright during storms, that it might be struck by lightning and that its position by the A1 - passed by 90,000 drivers daily - could distract motorists and cause accidents.

The late art critic Brian Sewell even branded it a "totem" and "bad engineering".

But the criticism has largely been forgotten as it has been embraced as a symbol of the North.