The head of André Rieu appears from a 3,520 lb block of ice. The artist is a classically trained sculpturer from Russia
"Icy André" on the Vrijthof
Maastricht Nov. 23, 2010: Ice sculptures at the Vrijthof in Maastricht have started with the a frozen world of André Rieu. The head of the first Stand alone violinist sculpture is ready. A coincidence that conductor André Rieu is on tour in Vancouver, Canada. There the freezing temperatures are down to minus 9 degrees Celsius (16 degrees Fahrenheit). In a climate controlled tent on the Vrijthof where the thermometer indicates a minus 5.9 degrees Celsius (22 degrees Fahrenheit), his sculptured head appeared yesterday afternoon from a 1600 kilo (3520 lbs) block of ice from which the rest of his life stature must still be sculpted. In three days the sculpture must be ready.
It was decided upon at the eleventh hour, to add an Ice Sculpture Festival to the program "Magic Maastricht", a new December event. A highly complicated and logistical task, in which dozens of people are involved to have it all ready by December 3rd. To give you an idea: 300,000 kilo's (660.000 lbs) of fresh snow and 250,000 kilo's (550,000 lbs) in ice blocks must be processed into "A magical world," according to Marjon Katerberg. She designed the pavilion layout and coordinates the artistic interpretation.
For the first of several Rieu images, a skilled sculptor from Moscow was flown in. With tools such as a chainsaw, an iron, a grapefruit knife and a chisel he sculptures in ice from a photograph the stand alone violinist André Rieu with his arms outstretched during the reception of applause and his world famous Stradivarius in one hand.
There will soon be another "Icy André" at the entrance and yet another sculpture will be in a corner with references to the many countries and world cities where he and his Johann Strauss Orchestra have been on tour. "It has to become a true tribute to Rieu, adorned with Maastricht elements which link to local history and traditions", Katerberg explained. "Rieu is the main theme, but the people of Maastricht will be able to see their city sparkle in all its glory later on." The Servaas basilica, Maastrichter Geis, sayings in Maastricht dialect, the Mooswief (Carnival caricature) , a small drunken brass band, they all will receive a place. As "Temporary art", summarizes Katerberg. Limited shelf life and wear. With their body temperatures visitors will soon bring in a situation which will slowly affect the ice sculptures. Although it may not seem to be noticeable.
Working with massive ice blocks is not without danger. Specialists from Canada and Finland have not been brought to the building process without reason. Katerberg says, "If you just scrape too much ice away from the bottom of a block, there's something with the weight of a car, that can topple on top of you. Katerberg and her sculptors hope that André Rieu will find time between December 3 January 2 to come and admire himself in ice. The entire project has been discussed with his management. And a personal visit would mean "the icing on the cake".
Besides, didn't he say he wanted to go to the Arctic to perform? That way he can get acclimatized to the temperatures already.
Thanks to John for this article and it's ©Translation of it