The International Sand Art Festival, set to commence on December 1 at the Chandrabhaga beach, will have sand artist of international repute, Sudarshan Patnaik as the brand ambassador. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting of the State Government on Monday.
Ten sand artists from different overseas nations and twenty sculptors from Odisha and outside would participate in the five-day event, which will be held on Chandrabhaga beach, nearly two kilometers from Konark.
Tourism Director H S Upadhyay said artists from six countries have confirmed participation so far. “We have visited the Chandrabhaga beach and identified the plots where sand sculptures will be made. Tenders for cleaning the plots and other development works at the beach have been called by the OTDC,” said Upadhyay.
“While only the Indian artists would compete with each other for Rs-one-lakh-prize, foreign artists would be given remuneration on daily basis. We will also give a people’s choice award to the best foreign performer,” said a tourism department officer.
“We have roped in some talented sand artists from USA, Sweden, Singapore, etc. Last year the event was a great success,” Sudarsan said.
Sources in the Tourism Department said a decision had also been taken to organise sand art festivals in other parts of the State on an annual basis. “Earlier, the festival was limited to Puri. This year, we decided to organise it along with the Konark Festival at Chandrabhaga, considering the large number of tourists who come from across the country and abroad to witness the Festival. Henceforth, we have decided to take the festival to other areas of the State to promote sand art and artists,” said an official.