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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

World's first digital Ice Art Museum to open in Belgium

Forty artists of seven different nationalities have worked to over 80 sculptures carved from 500 tonnes of ice

An ice sculpture is seen at the Bruges Ice Sculpture Festival and The World's First Digital Ice Art Museum in Bruges, Belgium, November 22, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
An ice sculpture is seen at the Bruges Ice Sculpture Festival and The World's First Digital Ice Art Museum in Bruges, Belgium, November 22, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

It's sure to leave you feeling chilly: towering winged warriors, animals with ferocious faces and plants with textured leaves are among sculptures on display at an ice festival in Belgium, brought to life by lights and 3D video transformations.

The world's first digital Ice Art Museum, in reality a giant freezer, features over 80 sculptures carved from 3,000 locally-made blocks, or 500 tonnes, of ice.

Forty artists of seven different nationalities have worked to create the exhibits.

An artist carves an ice sculpture at the Bruges Ice Sculpture Festival and The World's First Digital Ice Art Museum in Bruges, Belgium, November 22, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
An artist carves an ice sculpture at the Bruges Ice Sculpture Festival and The World's First Digital Ice Art Museum in Bruges, Belgium, November 22, 2018. Reuters

Alexander Tselebrovskiy, an ice sculptor from Russia, said he likes working with ice as it's "not forever" and, unlike stone, is not difficult to carve. Thanks to warm gloves and 15 years of sculpting experience, the cold weather poses him no problems.

While this is the exhibition's 17th year, it is the first time it has used LED screens to light the sculptures, said organiser Alexander Deman. There is also an ice slide and a raised area where guests can view the exhibits from above.

An artist carves an ice sculpture at the Bruges Ice Sculpture Festival and The World's First Digital Ice Art Museum in Bruges, Belgium, November 22, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
This is the 17th year for the exhibition, but the first year to feature LED to light its sculptures. Reuters

Deman said the temporary nature of the art allowed for more creativity. "We can use 100 percent of our fantasy," he said. "The hair of a princess can be as long as we want."

The museum will open on November 24, 2018 until January 6, 2019.

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