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The traditional Roadside Art would have been statues or monuments to great characters of history. Today, roadside art is something which often forms part of road schemes at the design stage, or is added later, in order to either beautify the area. The reasons why it might be added include causing the area to be less uniform or to maintain driver interest, or to celebrate local features or persons. Typical locations are by the side of motorways or on Roundabouts. Other uses are as gateway features to towns or business parks.
Internationally, France is known for having a high proportion of roundabouts containing sculptures or other artworks.
Possibly the best known piece of roadside art in England is the Angel of the North.
In Ireland, roadside art is funded under the Percentage For Arts Scheme where 1% of the scheme budget is allocated to roadside art with a cap of €63,000. The local authorities decide on a theme and are responsible for commissioning the work, usually by open competition see: https://web.archive.org/web/20110614073505/http://www.arts-sport-tourism.gov.ie/pdfs/English-text5.htm