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COP15: The Ice Bear cometh

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During the December climate negotiations, a team from WWF will have an ‘Arctic Tent’ on a main Copenhagen square and we have invited lots of people to help tell the stories of arctic climate change.

In front of the tent, we have a life sized polar bear carved from ice, created by renowned wildlife sculptor, Mark Coreth, and we have a stunning outdoor exhibit by some of the top photographers working in the Arctic today.

By Clive Tesar

At 7 this morning, Copenhagen time, a truck dropped off a huge wooden box more than 2 metres tall. It stands in one of Copenhagen’s oldest squares, the site of the original city hall, surrounded by majestic buildings. On this day it was surrounded by more as well – immediately behind the box, a collection of three sided wooden structures went up, to be topped by breathtaking photos of the Arctic, in all its splendour and fragility.

I know you can’t all be here to see this exhibition, but you can view it at your computer on our specially-created virtual tour of this stunning photographic exhibition.

Behind the photographs stands another newcomer to the square, a large white tent – WWF’s Arctic Tent. Over the next few days this tent will host an incredible variety of people from around the Arctic, as well as people from other places for whom the Arctic holds a special place in their research, in their arts, and in their hearts. Find out more about the programme for the WWF Arctic Tent at COP15.

But to get back to the big box – later in the morning, a crew arrived and unbolted the sides, revealing a giant ice cube. This crew then attacked the block with chainsaws and long wicked-looking chisels, revealing the vague outlines of what it is to be – a life size sculpture of an ice bear, by renowned sculptor Mark Coreth.

Here are some photos of what has been done to date. Come back to tomorrow to see the ice bear finally revealed.

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