From Ashill to Athens - Norfolk sculptor sets off on tree-mendous road trip to Greece
Transporting artwork from one country to another is usually a highly complex and intricate task.
But when facing the challenge of getting this magnificent one-tonne sculpture from his home in Norfolk to Greece, Mark Reed adopted a more simplistic approach.
Today Mr Reed, 44, is on his 2,500-mile journey to Athens in a 1989 VW camper van – carrying his £20,000 tree sculpture in a trailer behind.
The steel sculpture – measuring 3.5m tall and 3m wide – has been bolted down into the trailer.
Mr Reed, who lives in Ashill, near Watton, has been a full-time sculptor for 25 years and once made a door for Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.
He said: 'It would cost between £12,000 and £15,000 to ship it over, which is unaffordable.
'I don't want to do that, also because it will be out of my hands and I worry that it could just end up getting thrown around. It is too big to take in a lorry.
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'I've taken similar structures to places this way before and it has usually worked out okay. One time I ended up getting stuck under a railway bridge in the centre of London for an hour and a half, after my sat-nav took me the wrong way.'
Mr Reed will be travelling with apprentice Liam Eagling, 19, who is also from Ashill.
The pair will take a ferry from Dover to Dunkirk, before crossing France and through Italy to Brindisi.
From there, they will take another ferry to Patras, in Greece, then drive on to Athens. It will be displayed in The Kanellopoulos Museum, which commissioned Mr Reed to make the sculpture after he worked for them previously.
The journey to Athens is expected to take up to six days.
'The sculpture was supposed to go over in the summer but, due to the economic situation in Greece, it has been delayed and I was worried it might not happen at all,' said Mr Reed.
He added: 'The van makes a few clunks and whines, but I've had it for a long time and know what all of the noises mean. I'm bringing some spare parts.
'The clinking sound of the leaves will let me know if I'm driving too fast.'
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