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Last Updated: Monday, 11 July, 2005, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
Wonders of Egypt created in sand
Artist works on sand sculpture
An artist works on a sand sculpture at Brighton Marina
The wonders of Egypt are being recreated on the South Coast by 60 artists from around the world in a summer-long sand sculpture festival.

Nearly 10,000 tons - 500 lorry loads - of special sand has been shipped from Holland to Brighton Marina for the festival, which lasts until September.

Keeping to the Egyptian theme, the artists will create sculptures of the pyramids, Rameses II and Tutankhamen.

The highest pyramid, made entirely with sand and water, will reach 15m (45ft).

Finishing touches

Organiser Huib Joor said the carvers were all artists used to working in various mediums.

They have come from Russia, Hawaii, USA, Germany, Ireland and France and are in Brighton for two weeks.

Visitors to the festival, which starts on Thursday, will see them put the finishing touches to their work.

The sculptures are said to be able to withstand winds up to force seven and remain intact for many months.

The secret is in the type of sand used.

The best is "young" sand from the River Maas, which has had less time to become eroded.

The grains hold together well because they are shaped like dice of various sizes rather than the marble shapes of "older" sand.

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