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11th sand sculpture festival begins in Belgium

2009-07-12 11:41 BJT

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The world's largest sand sculpture festival has begun in Belgium. It includes a larger than life sculpture of recently deceased pop-star Michael Jackson.

The world's largest sand castle festival is underway in Belgium at the beach side town of Blankenberge.

Russian sand sculptor Wiaczeslaw Borecki carves a figure of Michael Jackson during the Sand Sculptures Festival in Blankenberge July 9, 2009.REUTERS/Thierry Roge (BELGIUM SOCIETY) 
Russian sand sculptor Wiaczeslaw Borecki carves a figure of Michael 
Jackson during the Sand Sculptures Festival in Blankenberge July 9, 

The event has been running for 11 years. This year's theme is pirates. For inspiration, the sculptors spent an entire day watching pirate films.

34 artists are representing eight countries.

The exhibits are the work of seven weeks. They're made of a special type of sand that comes from the bottom of rivers.

A last minute addition was a sculpture of pop-star Michael Jackson.

Borescki Wiaczeslaw, a Polish artist, spent four days building the two metre tall statue. He used the cover of the album History.

Borescki Wiaczeslaw said, "In fact, my artistic career started with Michael Jackson. I once found a picture of him in a newspaper so I took a pencil and I started to draw his portrait. I was 16 years old and after that, I gave it as a gift to my first girlfriend,"

Michael Jackson and the pirates will remain on display until the end of August.