Over 200 artists build large Easter sand sculptures in Bolivia

More than 200 artists have gathered in Bolivia to build large Easter sand sculptures with the figures built to tell the story of Holy Week, Sky News reports.

A three-metre-high face of Christ, according to the report, caught the attention of the public.

Visitors, it says, flocked to witness this annual art spectacle before icy winds whipped through.

According to AP, for a few hours, 250 artists from Bolivia, Peru and Argentina created 25 sculptures, most of them religious, in the Cochiraya sandbanks, in the suburbs of the city, 190 kilometers from La Paz.

Christ’s Stations of the Cross, the news agency writes, came to life in monumental sand sculptures in a mining town in southwestern Bolivia. They will remain there as long as the icy wind from the Bolivian altiplano allows and until at dawn on Saturday, in an annual festival for Holy Week held in the Oruro dunes, they are permanently erased.

On Friday afternoon, the space opened to the public and brought together hundreds of attendees. Faith and art move these sand artisans who were shaping the figures from Friday morning until the harsh sun of the altiplano appeared, compacting sand with water and sculpting beyond noon.

Among the works, a face of Christ about three meters high stands out. Also that of Noah’s Ark, others of animals, pharaohs or passages of the Passion of Christ.

The work began in the early hours of Friday under low temperatures, says the Peruvian artist Juan Chalco. “It is not only a spiritual meeting, we also develop concepts and reflections. Art is not only spirituality, it transcends the social. We make culture and art has no borders,” added Chalco, who has come from the University of Cusco in southern Peru.

The meeting has been taking place for 17 years in that Bolivian city and also aims to raise awareness about the care of natural spaces, stressed the sculptor Juan Chacón, from the Grupo Arte Diez, organiser of the festival.

“It is a meeting of collective creation and brotherhood because art has no borders”, insisted the Bolivian sculptor Mónica Dávalos, a professor at the public university of La Paz.

The sand sculpture festival is already an unavoidable stop for Bolivian believers and non-believers as well, on a holiday that enlivens a city with few outdoor attractions.


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