Icy Romance

5 comments January 13th, 2008at 06:25pm Posted by Eli


Rising out of the snow, this magnificent sculpture is the centrepiece of the Ice And Snow Festival, held annually in the northeastern city of Harbin, China.

Called Romantic Feelings, it is a staggering 115ft high and 656ft long – the largest snow sculpture ever created.

It was made by joining together 15ft square blocks of natural ice and snow, taken from the nearby Songhua River, which have been compressed to withstand blows from hatchets, saws and shovels.

600 sculptors from 40 countries have used 120,000 cubic feet of snow and ice to create the Olympic themed landscape – a vista of Russian churches, French cathedrals, Chinese palaces and, of course, an ice Acropolis.

There is even a version of Stonehenge to celebrate the London Olympics in 2012.

At night they are dazzlingly lit by coloured lasers and lanterns, creating a multicoloured translucent display.

Just amazing. Unfortunately…

Harbin, which is in Heilongjiang Province on the edge of Siberia, is one of China’s coldest places and winter temperatures can drop to -35C, which you might think cold enough for preserving snow sculptures.

However, organisers are increasingly concerned about the effects of global warming on this year’s sculptures.

Many of them are melting rapidly in the midday sun and emergency repairs have already been carried out to stop them collapsing completely.

The festival traditionally runs from mid-December to early February, but it is feared that the rising temperatures – last winter it reached a record 6.6C – could see it significantly shortened.

Well, crap. Probably not the most pressing reason to fight global warming, but you can add it to the list.

(h/t the shadowy & mysterious Codename V.)

Entry Filed under: Art/Architecture,Coolness,Environment


  • 1. Ruth  |  January 14th, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Maybe if they all park those fossil fuel vehicles and take to bikes, they can pedal the ice sculpture back to life.

  • 2. shortstop  |  January 15th, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    It makes me sad to see this because its incredible beauty is so temporal.

    But I won’t get a tat because its beauty is too permanent.

    Apparently I have unique issues with art and time.

  • 3. Eli  |  January 15th, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Why not get a Romantic Feelings tat?

  • 4. shortstop  |  January 15th, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    What a good idea! I hope those come in the Confederate flag or the Chinese symbol for badass.

  • 5. shortstop  |  January 15th, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Oops, I’m dumber than usual. I thought “Romantic Feelings” tats were a brand of temporary tats. Ignore me.

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