Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Ice Sculptures

The centre of Paris at Christmas is impressively festive.  The elegance of the illuminations in the Place Vendome and the extravagance of the facades of the big stores like Printemps and Lafayette really have to be seen to be appreciated. 
All along the Champs Elysees is a Christmas Market set up in wooden chalets which sells everything that any tourist or Parisian could want to buy on a cold winter's day. 
About halfway along is a large insulated tent, which is cooled to -6 degrees centigrade and in which you can see ice sculptures.   The ice is shipped from Canada because to get such clear ice, the water has to be very low in dissolved gases.  The owner, who obviously enjoyed chatting to the crowds in the queue, explained that they used twenty sculptors from many different countries who work for three weeks to create the show and that on 6th January it was all going to be brutally dismantled as it is everywhere they go.  It was clear that the proportions of some things had been distorted to fit the blocks of ice but overall I was impressed with the results.  I hope that the photos below give a good idea of the show.


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