The Angel of the North's iconic status is taken for granted. Yet it was so nearly never made. Strong local opposition, engineering difficulties and even the doubts of its own creator, Sir Antony Gormley, threatened to scupper it several times.
When the Angel arrived in Gateshead in the middle of an unseasonably mild February night 20 years ago, it was treated like royalty.
The convoy of body and wings eased past waving crowds, illuminated by police escort headlights and streetlamps, followed by a traffic tailback cortege.
"Everybody had been told to stay away - but they didn't," says Gormley.
"By midday we had 2,000 people there."
Gary Porter, who drove the 48-wheel trailer carrying the Angel's body, remembers people on "every corner, every roundabout, every turn - hundreds, thousands, everywhere".
He had already driven the 28-mile route from Hartlepool over and over, checking the sculpture would fit under bridges and around corners.
Inconvenient road signs and lampposts had been removed.
"That was not the day to get a corner wrong and hit something," he says.
The Angel's night-time arrival was "spectacular", says Sid Henderson, then chairman of Gateshead Council's libraries and arts committee.
"It wouldn't have been nearly as exciting [during the day] would it?" he says.