French Artists Won First Place in the International Competition of Ice Artists
As part of the development of winter tourism, the “Mazaalai” ice town was created.
As part of the development of winter tourism, the “Mazaalai” ice town was created. On this occasion, the “Save Mazaalai” international competition of ice artists was organized for the first time in Mongolia. Twenty-four artists from 12 teams across seven countries—Russia, China, Thailand, France, America, and Mongolia—participated in the competition. To protect and cherish Mazaalai bears, ice artists competed to express new and innovative ideas related to Mazaalai bears in their creations. Ice artists imbue their work with personal meaning. For instance, in one creation, sand is depicted flowing out of a palm, symbolizing the decreasing population of this animal. The French team secured first place, the Mongolian team took second, the Yakut team claimed third, and the Russian carvers earned a special place. The Mazaalai bear lives in the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area in Gobi, Altai, Mongolia—an exceptionally rare species found nowhere else in the world. According to international researchers, Mazaalai is a unique bear species. The primary goal of the ice artists was to contribute to the protection of Mazaalai. This year was also special as a team of ice artists came from a tropical country, Thailand. Thirty percent of the proceeds from the “Mazaalai” International Ice and Snow Festival will be donated to the protection of Mazaalai bears. The Festival is named after the brown bear, whose habitat is being destroyed due to global warming, and it is highly affected by climate change. During the “Mazaalai” International Ice and Snow Festival, in addition to the competition for ice artists, Mongolian artists crafted national fiddle instruments out of ice. These ice fiddles were played on stage during the closing ceremony of the ice artist competition. A small fiddle weighs 10 kg, while a large fiddle weighs more than 30 kg. For the first time, five musical instruments were created and played out of ice, attracting the interest of the audience.