Copenhagen Sand Sculpture Festival

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A section of disused land on the old harbour near to the Copenhagen Playhouse, not far from Nyhavn and the Amalienborg Palace, has been turned into “Ophelia beach”. During our stay in the city, there wasn’t much sand in evidence, but the area was set up for outdoor concerts with two stages and a coffee bar. But at one end of the “beach” there was plenty of sand, used to create sand sculptures for the Copenhagen International Sand Sculpture Festival.

The sculptures have been created by a number of International artists, from sand mixed with some clay to provide stability. They’re incredibly detailed. Here is one that shows the main landmark buildings in Copenhagen.

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There were two main themes evident. First of all the history of mankind starting with evolution and ending with the Industrial Revolution.

Having recently spent a week on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset It was interesting to see the sculpture of an ammonite by Daniel Doyle from Ireland, which was part of a collaborative work on evolution by three artists.

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It culminated in a caveman hunting a mammoth.

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Here’s a Viking (it is Denmark, after all) sculpted by Charlotte Koster from Germany


And the Ancient Greeks, by Delayne Corbett of Canada.


All culminating in the Industrial Revolution, created by Andy Briggs and David Billings from Canada.


The other theme was based around fantasy and legends.

A nod to the “Little Mermaid” – “Save the Ocean” by Sudarsan Pattnaik, of India, which won the Festival Jury prize

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This is “Diversity, the Soul of Wealth” by Bob Atisso from Togo, who is quoted on the Festival’s Facebook site saying “My sculpture is a representation of three different kingdoms based on different cultures”.

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Patrick Steptoe from Denmark has sculpted a strange “Bunny Man” whose sour expression is due to his dissatisfaction with the architecture of the Opera House that can be seen across the water.


The sculpture, by Irina Taflevskay from Bulgaria. is called “Night Shamaness“. “Shamaness protects our dreams at night. She has spun a web to catch the bad dreams at night, trying to prevent our dreams becoming reality.”


Its a family attraction and there were a number of children around during our visit (a sand pit for children to play in and create their own efforts is provided). Danish parents must be quite broad minded – ‘Fertility and Diversity’ by Pavel Mylnikov, of Russia:


This one was created by an Irish artist, Fergus Mulvany. “The Key of She“. It has a very Celtic look to it

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We really enjoyed looking around the exhibition (it cost 50 Kroner, about £5-50 to get in, but it was well worth the price). They also had a coffee bar where we had the best café au lait we drunk during our stay.

The Festival has a Facebook page here


3 thoughts on “Copenhagen Sand Sculpture Festival

    • Hi Lyn
      Remember when you used to make sandcastles? The sand needed to be wet to stay together and it’s the same for these. So they need some rain! (though not too heavy). If it doesn’t rain they have to water them.

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