Damien Hirst’s Verity statue has been hoisted into place on Ilfracombe pier today.
The controversial 22-metre sculpture of a naked, pregnant, sword-wielding woman was raised at around 4.45pm.
The bronze-clad statue has been loaned to the town for 20 years by world-famous artist Damien Hirst.
Sections of the statue arrived into Ilfracombe’s Pier car park by trailer last week ahead of today’s full unveiling.
Keep checking back throughout the day as we bring you regular updates of Verity going up.
Verity is now officially in place. Chief Reporter Joel Cooper confirmed the bronze sculpture has now been hoisted into position on Ilfracombe Pier. Spectators clapped and cheered as the 22-metre statue was hoisted onto her plinth of books.
And North Devon Council confirmed the news on Twitter: "Verity is officially up! It's been a long day waiting for her to be hoisted into position but it's been worth the wait! #Verity #ndevon"
Verity is now in the vertical position and the final touches are being made to her before she is manoeuvred approximately 40ft onto her plinth of books.
VIDEO: Footage of Verity being raised this afternoon:
Verity is up! She has been hoisted into a vertical position ready to be placed into her plinth on Ilfracombe Pier. Hundreds of people have gathered around the harbour and on the pier to watch. More pictures online shortly.
It is nearly time for Verity to be raised into place!
Chief Reporter Joel Cooper says "The crane's engines have started."
Verity's feet are in stirrups and she is in position to be hoisted up.
Chief Reporter Joel Cooper, who is reporting live from the scene, says: "She's strapped up and ready to go."
Our reporter at the scene says there are indications Verity will be going up shortly.
VIDEO: The base of the Verity statue being hoisted into place by a crane just after 9.30am:
Latest at 11am:
Throughout the day, people have taken to Twitter to share their views on the controversial 66ft statue.
@Erin_Rickard wrote: “In Ilfracombe watching "Verity" take her place. Im in love and so proud that my home is receiving her @hirst_official thank you.”
Meanwhile, @Devon_Made posted: “So we're going to have a 'Colossus of Ilfracombe'! If it gets people talking - even arguing, it's got to be a good thing #Verity.”
@TDog_2012 said: “I'd never even heard of Ilfracombe before Damien Hirst decided to put the tallest statue in the UK there.”
@LeeJohnBarnes said: “Ilfracombe has now just gone on my 'will not visit again' list.”
@DefenceGirl wrote: “I've just seen Hirst's Verity. As a sculpture it's impressive, and I instantly saw the nod to Degas but is it beautiful as a piece of art?”
@christoff3000 wrote: "I've never been inclined to visit Ilfracombe, but I think a trip next yr is on the cards to see the amazing Damien Hirst sculpture. #Verity"
@sinead007galway said: "Damian hirst is in my opinion a genius. Art is subjective,that's why it's great. #verity"
And @Hannie81 said: "Sorry Damien Hirst, I don't like #Verity. Not because of all the entrails but because of the baby bump and the outie belly button *shudder*"
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