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Dramatic new art show at Clifford's Tower
THE sky above one of York’s oldest tourist attractions is under a colourful cover, for the first time in more than 400 years.
A canopy of 45 umbrellas has been created over Clifford’s Tower - the first time the medieval structure has been covered since an explosion blew off the roof over 300 years ago.
The art installation, called Umbrella Sky, was inspired by the country’s miserable weather over the summer, and is hung at a level which does not obscure the views of York from the tower’s walkways.
Louise Wyatt, site manager at Clifford's Tower, said: "The idea came out of the rather damp summer that we've had, when someone joked that it would be wonderful to have a huge umbrella over the open courtyard, and then we started thinking about what else could be done with umbrellas.
"The tower was used as a store for gunpowder and munitions in the 17th century and, on April 23, 1684, an explosion blew off the roof and the floors, leaving just the shell that you see today, so it has been over 400 years since the tower last had any kind of roof covering."
Staff at the attraction tested the installation by hanging just five umbrellas across the courtyard, and said the full installation would suit the tower.
Ms Wyatt added: "We found some pictures online of streets in Europe that had been covered with suspended umbrellas and realised that the quatrefoil shape of Clifford's Tower would lend itself to such a display fantastically."
The installation will remain at the tower until October 21, providing the weather does not get too windy, and is visible from the tower’s courtyard and walkways, but cannot be seen from outside the attraction.