Santa Claus and ICIUM mascot Ming Ming Panda celebrate the opening of the ice sculpture park ICIUM, Wonderworld of Ice, in Levi, one of Finland's largest ski resorts, on December 18, 2010. [China.org.cn/Yangxi]
An ice sculpture park, ICIUM, Wonderworld of Ice, was opened on December 18 in Levi, one of Finland's largest ski resorts, by Finnish Minister of Communications Suvi Linden and Mr. Huang Xing, China's ambassador to Finland.
The sculpture park, featuring replicas of Chinese and Western architecture, was created by Chinese sculptors from Harbin, the capital city of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Visitors can see ice sculptures of Helsinki Cathedral and Santa Claus, as well as Chinese pagodas and pandas. The park took months to complete and the exhibition will last until April of next year.
The ice sculpture park is a joint venture between Chinese and Finnish companies. The organizers expected at least 100,000 people to visit the park.
"Cultural exchanges should not be limited to the government level. Non-governmental cultural exchanges are playing a bigger role in introducing Chinese culture to the world," Huang Xing told China.org.cn.
"This kind of cooperation brings the friendship of Finland and China to the level of the people, since people are able to come here and see the wonders of Chinese culture. And the skills of the ice sculptors are something that we cannot even imagine," said Suvi Linden. "Here in Lapland, we have the snow and ice, this combination is just great."
"I hope people will come and visit ICIUM because it is the first time that a project like this has been built in Finland. I think they will really enjoy seeing all the magnificent work that the artists have created here," said Zhao Yinong, managing director of FutuVision, one of the firms behind the ice sculpture park.