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Art and ice meet in Saas-Fee

Ice sculptures are often reals works of art. www.alaska.net

In the shadow of the Fee and Allalin glaciers, the mountain resort of Saas-Fee in canton Valais is set to host its sixth annual ice-carving contest from Friday to Sunday.

This content was published on December 13, 2001 - 11:22

Participants have about 24 hours to build their sculptures on a given theme, this year the Spirit of Life. The organisers give the artists just three metre-long blocks of ice to express their vision.

The sculptors are free to choose their work method, but it must not have an impact on the environment. The artists must also provide their own equipment, which includes chisels, power tools and even chainsaws.

The sculptures will be displayed throughout the village after the competition. Last year's contest, which Rolf Sprecher won, brought 15 mostly Swiss artists together.

Ice carving competitions have become popular around the world in recent years. Harbin, China, hosts the world's most famous festival in January every year.

Ice carving will also be part of the Olympic Arts Festival at the Salt Lake City Winter Games. Artists will go for their own gold in Provo, Utah.

Saas-Fee, nicknamed the Pearl of the Alps, is one of Switzerland's main resorts, with ski runs taking visitors up beyond 3,000 metres. The village is situated in a valley parallel to Zermatt.

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