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Melting ice sculptures symbolizing climate change

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Copenhagen Ice BearAs COP15 negotiations are getting closer to an end, the ice bridge and polar bear statues in Copenhagen city centre are about to melt away…

”When people touch that bear, they are touching the Arctic. Because that sculpture is not a sculpture of a polar bear, it’s a sculpture of the Arctic, explained the animal sculptor Mark Coreth to Aftenposten.no, while finishing the last details of his ice sculpture last week.

As part of WWF’s Icebear Project he has made a polar bear out of ice, to remind the 15.000 delegates from 192 nations about how the world’s glaciers are constantly getting smaller. Inside the polar bear is a skeleton of bronze, which slightly will appear as the ice melts.

Inspired by the renaissance

The polar bear has in many ways become a symbol for climate change. And after standing out in the cold for more than a week, the bronze skeleton is more or less all that is left of the ice sculpture.

The ice bridge built at Christiansborg Slottsplads is also getting hard to spot. Inspired by Leonardo da Vincis renessaince drawings, the Norwegian artist Vebjørn Sand has for the forth time built a bridge out of ice. One of them is still standing in the Antarctic, while another one melted in front of the UN Headquarters in New York this year.

According to Sand, the ice bridge has a deep symbolic meaning:

”The renaissance opens up a holisitc perspective on life on earth, when art, science, philosophy and spirituality comes together as a whole. That is like an approach that belongs to the future. Because the lack of holistic thinking is the reason why we have messed up this planet”, said Sand to Aftenposten.

Sand’s ice bridge was 12 metres long and weighed 2 tons when it arrived in Copenhagen.  Here’s what’s left today:

Copenhagen Ice Bridge


Copyright, United Nations, UNRIC, 2009. All rights reserved.