JELGAVA, Latvia (CBS) -- There is a positive side to the cold winter and icy temperatures it created the perfect conditions for the artists who participated in the yearly ice sculpture festival in the Latvian town of Jelgava.
The theme of the 14th edition of the international event was 'mysteries' and 26 sculptors from eight countries - Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, UK and Norway - worked for several days in the severe cold of up to minus 20 degrees to chisel their artworks. They used 30 tons of ice to create more than 50 large and middle scale sculptures.
The visitors were impressed by the icy outcome. "This year it is really spellbinding. Fantastic sculptures, unrivaled - compared to the last year. It is obvious that this year very gifted artists participated. The sculptures are unique, it is amazing to watch, I suppose, something like this is rarely to be seen," said festival visitor Laura Stelpe. Aleksandr Tvogorov from Jelgava attends the festival every year. "This year it was the best, because it is cold. Some years it was rainy, and the sculptures were melting in the rain. All in all, it is an excellent festival," he said.
The first place in the competition went to an united Lithuanian-Latvian team, the artists Karlis Ile and Vilius Matutis vowed the jury with their sculpture 'Flame that inspires'. As the artists explained, the artwork embodies the balance between heaven and earth, life and death.
The runner-up went to the Russian sculptors Dzulustan Markov and Kyunney Takasaeva and their sculpture 'Ikedzuri' and the third place to another Russian team, the artists Igor Nareiko and Sergei Loginov for their artwork 'The legend of glorious Nani', a fairy-tale about ancient people living by the Amur riverside.