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Art riddle just out of this world!

Byline: By Matt Casey

A mystery art-work of a walk on the Moon has been dusted down and put back on display after 30 years.

The copper frieze depicts two astronauts and is believed to have been commissioned to commemorate 1969 landing ( but the artist is unknown.

It was originally on show in a Newcastle pub, appropriately named Man on the Moon, which was refurbished in about 1977.

Then it was painted over with purple paint when the pub became The Jubilee. It then became Trillions.

During the renovation the work was taken away, along with scrap, and put in a store at Clifford Chapman Metalworks on Washington's Armstrong industrial estate and was promptly forgotten.

But firm owner Cliff Chapman rediscovered the frieze during alterations to the factory and has now had it cleaned up.

He was stunned when he saw the fine details of the work, which has now been mounted and placed on a wall at the factory.

The work is in three separate panels and in total measures six metres in length by one metre deep.

The work shows the astronauts approaching the Moon's surface with lifelines leading to their spacecraft.

And Mr Chapman is keen to find the artist who created the piece. He said: " The craftsmanship in the panels is of the highest standard.

"I'm a coppersmith myself so I appreciate the amount of work and skill in the frieze.

"The detail is incredible, and the spaceship has a number ( JAO K11.

"To watch the detail emerge as we cleaned it was reminiscent of Tutankhamen's tomb.

" Someone must know the craftsman, or craftswoman, who made this and we'd like to know if any of your readers can help."

The artwork can be viewed on the firm's website www.cliffordchapman.com

NDo you know who the coppersmith was? Contact Matt Casey on (0191) 477 9436 or the Chronicle newsdesk on (019) 201 6356.

NOn July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man on the Moon. He spoke the historic words: "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 5, 2006
Words:345
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