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Greece is the word for sand show

PUBLISHED: 10:50 07 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:58 22 October 2010

Sand sculptors from all over the world get to work on their artistic creations near the Marina Centre at Yarmouth.

Sand sculptors from all over the world get to work on their artistic creations near the Marina Centre at Yarmouth.

Something mythical is happening on Yarmouth's golden beaches. Two weeks ago the stretch of sand in front of the town's famous Marina Centre was like any other - a sheet of coarse yellow with the occasional sandcastle popping up for good measure.

Something mythical is happening on Yarmouth's golden beaches.

Two weeks ago the stretch of sand in front of the town's famous Marina Centre was like any other - a sheet of coarse yellow with the occasional sandcastle popping up for good measure.

Now, however, huge ziggurats are popping up all over the beach, nine metres in height, as Yarmouth is transformed into ancient Greece.

Yesterday was the day that 40 sand sculptors, each of international renown, arrived in Yarmouth to mould these towers into Greek gods, the Trojan Horse, Hercules, Hermes and Pandora's box.

And as the sun shone on the Golden Mile, the sculptors got to work turning fantasy into reality, ready for the projected 200,000 people who are expected to come to see the £1m project over 2½ months.

The sculptors, from Canada, Russia, Estonia, Belgium and all over the world, have been assembled by Dutch-based Sculpture Events, which has an international reputation for organising sand festivals, including in Brighton last year.

Artistic director Anique Kuizenga said she wanted to create a mythical exhibition that she hopes will attract people from all over the East of England.

"We've done the ancient Greek theme before in Holland and China and it's proven extremely popular, but each time we do a festival we make it as original as possible," she said.

The team have imported almost 4,000 tonnes of sharp river sand from Holland, which compacts well and will allow the huge sculptures to keep their form no matter what the weather.

Ms Kuizenga said Yarmouth was the perfect venue for the festival, which opens on Saturday, June 17.

"I've only been here a day but driving down the seafront I thought I was in Las Vegas," she said.

Project manager Luc Dibbelink, who has been overseeing the site for the last two weeks, added: "The weather's been terrible so far, but that's fine, we needed lots of water to make the sand stick together."

The festival runs from June 17 to September 10 on more than 10,000 square metres of central beach. Entry costs £6 for adults, £5 concessions and £4 children.


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