© National Portrait Gallery, London
by James Hague
oil on board, 1998
14 in. x 11 in. (356 mm x 279 mm)
Commissioned as part of the First Prize, 1996 BP Portrait Award, 1998
This work, painted in Michael Caine's flat in London, was the result of five sittings totalling about 12 hours.
The Human Rights Act is passed giving further effect in UK Law to the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. The Act, which came into effect in 2000, gave individuals the opportunity to argue in a British court that their human rights had been breached. As a last resort individuals are still able to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Art and science
Anthony Gormley's monumental sculpture Angel of the North
is erected just outside Gateshead. The sculpture is 20 metres tall and has a wingspan of 54 metres. Despite initial local and press controversy, the work is now considered a landmark of the North of England and cannot be missed from the A1 road or East Coast Mainline railway (the main routes from London to Scotland).
The British and Irish governments sign the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, which is subsequently endorsed by voters in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland at referendums. The Agreement established a new Northern Ireland Assembly, which formed a parliament made up of representatives from different parties. The Assembly has since been suspended and attempts continue for its re-establishment.