Source AP ©

Giant wooden moose to attract tourists in Sweden

A region in northern Sweden hopes that a giant wooden moose will help attracting tourists.

When completed, the 45-meter (148-foot) tall, 47-meter (155-foot) long moose will have a restaurant in its belly, as well as a concert hall, conference rooms and a shop, project coordinator and local tourism promoter Thorbjorn Holmlund said Thursday.

The monument will be so big that its massive hooves will be firmly planted in two different counties, Vasterbotten and Norrbotten, about 870 kilometers (540 miles) north of Stockholm.

"The reason we decided to build a moose is because there is something magnificent about the animal. It's the king of the forest," said Holmlund.

Residents and officials hope the wooden moose will draw tourists to the region.

Holmlund insisted that the area has a lot worth seeing, but conceded that "it's in the middle of nowhere, so no one knows about it."

Some tourists come to the region for whitewater rafting, cave exploring and ironically, moose hunting.

Work on the 60-million-kronor (EUR6.4 million; US$9.4 million) project is expected to start within the next few months. It is being funded by a local foundation and private donations.

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