Weather, visitors harm sand sculptures

Staff Writer, with CNA

Wed, May 25, 2011 - Page 2

Careless visitors, combined with weather factors, are making it a challenge to maintain the 41 sand sculptures on display at Fulong Beach, according to workers at this year’s Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival.

Since the two-month festival started on May 1, there have been two cases of serious damage to the sculptures, staff members said.

A sculpture of a Roman soldier has lost its head and a Christmas tree has been broken, they said.

The two damaged pieces were part of a major display, titled “Roman Siege — Battle Glory,” that was created by Portuguese and German sculptors.

According to officials at the Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area Administration, a group of young students threw stones at the display “to see if it was as sturdy as it looked.”

The students ran away before volunteer workers could get to them, an official surnamed Lin (林) said.

Apart from the regular workers at the festival, more than 80 volunteers and 10 Taiwanese professional sculptors are on hand to help protect the sculptures, Lin said.

However, the weather has also been a problem at the annual festival, which is the biggest ever this year in celebration of the centennial of the Republic of China, one of the volunteers said.

“The sculpture bases may be okay, but as you can see, the fine lines on the sculptures are fading due to erosion by wind and rain, “ Eddie Tsai said.

The sculptures are quite fragile and have been coated with soluble glue to keep them in shape, Tsai said.

“We have also been keeping a watchful eye on kids and pets because they sometimes trespass beyond the security lines around the sculptures,” he said.

The sculptures, some as tall as 7m, were created by well-known sculptors from eight countries.