Category: Art & Culture / November 30, 2012 12:47 PM EST
Brussels is welcoming the winter season this year with an unusual Christmas tree -- a giant climbable metal installation instead of the usual fir that adorns the Belgian capital's Grand-Place.
The installation, set to be inaugurated on Friday (November 30), comes with a sound and light show that shocks some and enlightens others.
Brussels' vice-mayor, who is responsible for the project, said he wanted to re-invent the traditional Christmas fir.
Towering 24 meters high, the "steel-made Xmas 3", is designed by two French artists and contrasts starkly with the 15th century City Hall, the Breadhouse and other gold-plated buildings that line the famous square.
For four euros, visitors can climb the stairs of the installation and enjoy a panoramic view of the Grand-Place.
The tree became the centre of controversy when a Flemish Christian Democrat representative at the Brussels region parliament publicly criticized the project.
Several petitions circulated on the Internet opposing the installation and asking for a regular Christmas tree instead, but to no avail.
The tree will be on display on the Grand Place until December 28.