ANTALYA, Turkiye

Turkiye’s International Antalya Sand Sculpture Festival will take place for the 17th time in 2022 with the theme of outer space.

As preparations are in full swing for the festival in the resort city of Antalya, which attracts many local and foreign visitors, festival Director Cem Karaca told Anadolu Agency that this year it will focus on space-human interaction and sand sculptures will reflect humanity’s effort to reach space.

“Our guests will have the opportunity to see and even partially experience humanity’s journey from the ages when humanity first met the sky to the years when they set foot on the moon and even to the present day when they plan to colonize space, with sand sculptures, replicas, and activities,” he said.

He added that sculptures of prominent figures such as Ottoman aviator Lagari Hasan Celebi, who did the first manned rocket test, Hazerfen Ahmed Celebi, who crossed the Bosporus with bird-like wings attached to his body by jumping from Galata Tower, and the US 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 figures such as cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, Apollo 11 and first man on the moon Neil Armstrong, the Hubble Space Telescope, and Mars colonies.

Beyond sand sculpture

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 by telescope and also experience a gravity-free environment with a gyroscope, he 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.”

Cheops Pyramid could be world’s longest-standing sculpture

Karaca said that they will preserve the Cheops Pyramid sculpture which they have kept intact for seven years despite the change of theme.

Their application to the Guinness Book of World Records two years ago for the sculpture, which was 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 Turkiye,” he added.

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