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Albanian artist creates record with nails

Artist Saimir Strati has hammered tens of thousands of nails into a wooden board to shape up Leonardo da Vinci.

india Updated: Sep 06, 2006 18:06 IST

Albanian artist Saimir Strati has hammered tens of thousands of nails into a wooden board over the past 24 days to create a portrait of Leonardo da Vinci and the world's biggest nail mosaic.

"I can officially confirm that we have a new record for the largest nail mosaic of eight square metres," Guinness World Records adjudicator Scott Christie said late on Monday. The mosaic stood in the main hall of Tirana's pyramid-shaped culture centre, exactly where a larger-than-life sculpture of the late Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha used to stand.                                                                           

Saimir Strati stands alongside his record-breaking creation.

Large-headed nails shone in the light falling on the sides of Da Vinci's flowing grey beard. Smaller black tapestry nails created shadow below his eyes and chin. Three rows of yellow nails framed the portrait.

"I have lost count of the nails, but I think it was around 400 kilos (880 pounds) of nails. I have used different nails. The condition was they should be industrial nails and they are," Strati said.                                                                 

"My technique resembles (digital) camera pixels. I have used a nail for each pixel," he told Reuters.

A video record of the feat showed him nailing away for up to 12 hours a day.

"This is something quite unique and quite spectacular," Christie told Reuters, adding the mosaic is "a completely new category" for Guinness.

"We did not know quite what to expect before we came, but we are amazed and truly astounded at the fantastic work he has done, days and nights and hour upon hour," he added.

"Someone will have to try to beat that, but I do not think it will be beaten for some time."