The Copenhagen Voice

Copenhagen International Sand Sculpture Festival 2012, Denmark

What have the Little Mermaid and Evolution in common? What is the connection between the Vikings and the Industrial Revolution? All were featured at the Sand Sculpture Festival in Copenhagen.


The Copenhagen International Sand Sculpture Festival 2012 was one of the largest and most spectacular sand sculpture events that took place in Northern Europe. The sculptures were created by some of the world’s most talented sand artists.


The festival was located on Ofelia Beach within walking distance from The Royal Palace Amalienborg, The Royal Playhouse and The Opera House.

The sculptures were made from 24th May to 31st May 2012. And the festival was officially open from 31st May to 9th September 2012. The artists have created 21 sand sculptures and an almost 200m long sand frieze.


This was the first Copenhagen International sand sculpture championship, which was an eight-day event. Artists were given seven days to create their sculptures on a Copenhagen beach.


A total of nine countries from four continents were participating in the event. The countries included were Canada, Russia, Bulgaria, Ireland, England, Germany, Ukraine, Ghana and India.


The amazing part of the sculpture is that when it rains the sculpture remain the same, as it is because the artists mixed clay with the sand to make the sculptures last longer.

There were two main themes. First was the history of mankind from evolution to Industrial Revolution.


The entries were as follows:


1.“Jurassic Coast in Dorset” by Daniel Doyle from Ireland,

2.“Viking” by Charlotte Koster from Germany

3.“ Ancient Greeks” by Delayne Corbett of Canada.

4.“Industrial Revolution” by Andy Briggs and David Billings from Canada.


 Second was fantasy and legends. The entries were:


1. “Little Mermaid” – “Save the Ocean” by Sudarsan Pattnaik, of India, which won the Festival Jury prize.

2.“Diversity, the Soul of Wealth” by Bob Atisso from Togo,

3.“Bunny Man” by Patrick Steptoe from Denmark.

4.“Night Shamaness ” by Irina Taflevskay from Bulgaria

5.“Fertility and Diversity” by Pavel Mylnikov, from Russia

6.“The Key of She” by Fergus Mulvany from Ireland


And the winner is…

The visitors casted 80,000 votes from 27th May to 30th May 2012 for different sculptures. Sudarshan Pattnaik’s sculpture “Save the Ocean” won by 23, 000 votes.

Pattnaik created a 20 feet high sand sculpture on "Save the Ocean", a nod to “Little Mermaid” pleading for human effort to save the ocean.

Sudarshan Pattnaik, India

It was a free theme event where participants were free to choose the subject of their sculptures. Pattnaik told PTI (Press Trust of India) in a telephone interview from Copenhagen, that he chose "to draw an awareness sculpture that depicted the issue of climate change and the threat to our seas.” 

He has been doing sand art for more than 20 years at Puri beach of Odisha, India. So far, Sudarsan has been participating in more than 50 sand art championships and festivals and has won many prizes.

While Pattnaik walked away with the first price, artists from Ireland and Russia won the second and third prizes respectively.

                       Fergus Mulnavy, Ireland                                                                          Pavel Mylnikov, Russia                                                              



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