GRAZ, AUSTRIA (November 28, 2011)--Carved out of crystal-clear ice, a giant Christmas Nativity sculpture is once again on display in Graz, Austria, to the delight of thousands who visit the city for its Advent celebrations.
Ice sculptor Gert J. Hoedl and his international team used ice blocks, chainsaws, ice chisels and their imagination to create the large-scale Nativity scene, complete with life-size figures.
They've been creating the ice sculptures to commemorate the start of the Advent season every year since 1996, with variations in details, and claim it's the biggest ice Nativity scene in the world.
This year, Hoedl and his ice-sculpting team, two from Finland, two from Latvia and two from Austria, used 54 tons of ice for the project.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, as well as angels and stars were meticulously carved.
The sculpture is supposed to stay in place until Jan. 7, a day after Epiphany.