NEWPORT’S abandoned whale has been given a new lease of life ahead of the Big Splash this weekend as part of a ‘u-cycling’ mosaic project.

Project director mosaic artist Stephanie Roberts came up with the idea to create a piece of recycled art for Newport made by the people of the city, after discovering the abandoned whale sculpture in a dump.

The whale, known as ‘Whaley’ for now, was formerly part of the Newport Centre but has since been discarded.

Tying in with The Big Splash, the last few weeks have seen around 250 members of the public get involved with the artwork along with four professional mosaic artists, to create the whale at the city’s Project Space.

The project supports the worldwide campaign ‘Say NO To Whaling’, which aims to raise awareness of the need to stop hunting whales as the species dies out.

The project saw international mosaic artists Se Van Weert from Holland and Rachel Silver from New Zealand, along with Tamara Froud, Wendy Phillips and Carrie Reidhardt, from London, take part as part of an ongoing collaborative relationship with Mrs Roberts stemming from her project in Chile.

Mrs Roberts hopes to do a similar project in the city in the future.

She said: “It is wonderful to work on a ‘u-cycling’ project bringing the whale from the leisure centre back to life and getting the city involved. He is now on wheels and will be part of the Big Splash parade tomorrow at 1pm.”

The project has seen over 100 people submit name suggestions for the whale to win a day trip courtesy of Newport Bus. The voted-for winner will be announced tomorrow.