A NEW sculpture has received decidedly mixed reviews from the Bradford public, with some saying it looks less like an infant and more like an alien.

The Baby of the North, commissioned at a cost of £15,000 and named in a nod to Sir Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North, was revealed outside its new home in the city centre on Thursday.

Since then, people have been sharing their opinions about the artwork, with some questioning its value.

The artist, Haworth-based Craig Dyson, acknowledged it had divided opinion, saying it was “definitely ‘Marmite’.”

He said: “It is a giant baby and it is there to turn heads. It has clearly got a lot of debate going.

“Whether that is positive or negative, at least people are trying to understand it, even if they don’t.

“They are asking, ‘what does it mean?’, even if it’s in an aggressive manner.”

Mr Dyson said criticism was “definitely part of the job” as a sculptor.

He said: “There is a huge proportion of people who think that it’s a waste of money.

“When I went to study at university, there were a lot of people who questioned why it was a degree.

“It’s not something I take personally, it’s something I learn to understand and to justify - and my justification is it does so much for so many people. Art is an incredibly powerful thing.”

Mr Dyson said he hoped people would understand the work better once a plaque had been placed there explaining its construction.

He said more than 1,000 local people had helped shape the design of the work, which was made from old Victorian looms in a reference to the city’s textile heritage.

The sculpture was commissioned by Bradford Council and paid for jointly by the council and government as part of a wider investment in the city centre’s public areas.

It has been placed outside the new home of the council’s Children’s Services department, Margaret McMillan Tower in Princes Way.

The building, formerly the Central Library, was renovated at a cost of more than £9m.