The 17th edition of the International Sand Sculpture Festival will be held in Turkey’s Mediterranean resort city of Antalya with the theme of "space."
As preparations are in full swing for the festival in Antalya, which attracts many local and foreign visitors, festival Director Cem Karaca told Anadolu Agency (AA) that this year it will focus on space-human interactions and sand sculptures will reflect humanity’s effort to reach outer space.
“Through the sand sculptures, replicas and activities, our guests will have the opportunity to see and even partially experience humanity’s journey from the ages when we first set foot on the moon to the present day where plans are being made to colonize space,” he said.
He added that sculptures of prominent figures such as Ottoman aviator Lagari Hasan Çelebi, who conducted the first manned rocket test; Hazerfen Ahmed Çelebi, who crossed the Bosporus with bird-like wings attached to his body by jumping from Galata Tower; and the U.S. Wright brothers, who in 1903 did the world's first successful motor-operated flight, will be displayed.
At the festival, 25 master sand sculptors will use 10,000 tons of sand for sculptures of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, Apollo 11 and the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, the Hubble Space Telescope and Mars colonies.
As part of the event, which will feature replicas of well-known rockets such as Sputnik and Apollo, there will also be workshops for children on space observation, art and science.
Visitors will also have the chance to see sculptures inspired by space-themed movies and TV shows such Star Trek and Star Wars.
Visitors can do space and sun observations with a telescope and experience a gravity-free environment with a gyroscope, Karaca said.
"With this year's change of theme, our festival will go beyond being a sand sculpture event," he added.
"With sand sculptures, rocket replicas, special lighting and many events, it will become a large-scale museum that deals with humanity’s adventure in space."
Karaca said they would preserve the Cheops Pyramid sculpture, which they have kept intact for seven years despite the theme change.
Their application to the Guinness Book of World Records two years ago for the sculpture made using 1,000 tons of sand is still under evaluation.
He said: "Based on the myths and legends that aliens were involved in the construction of the pyramids, we will also use it for this year's theme."
"We hope that it will eventually be included in the Guinness Book of World Records and help promote both Antalya and Turkey," he added.