Puri hosts 9th Edition Of International Sand Art Festival.

Puri is hosting the ninth edition of the International Sand Art Festival at the Chandrabhaga Beach in Konark. The festival is taking place with strict adherence to government and WHO prescribed COVID-19 protocols. The event organised by the Tourism Department of Odisha will see 71 artists participate from across India. The festival provides a platform for both national and international sand artists to showcase their talent.

In the previous editions, the festival has seen participation from artists from countries like the United States, Russia, Singapore and Italy. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, international artists will not be participating in the festival this year.

The chief curator of the festival and Padma Shri winner Sudarsan Pattnaik took to Twitter and said, “The 9th International Sand Art Festival at Konarak, Puri in Odisha begins today. 71 artist participated in this festival, including six artists from other states. This festival will continue till 5th December. This year, the main themes of the sculptures that the artists would perform are ‘Environment’ and ‘COVID-19’.”

Pattnaik also spoke to the media saying, “I am grateful to the tourism festival for allowing the event to take place despite the pandemic. Visitors are being allowed to enter after thermal scanning and hand sanitisation. It is a matter of great joy to be able to host very talented artists from across the country. Although we are quite sad that we will not be able to host other artists, we are hopeful that we will see their participation next year”.

The state government ensured COVID protocols are being followed including thermal scanning of visitors before admission, hand sanitisation, social distancing, mask distribution and pre-registration of visitors for public safety in the event.

The Odisha State Tourism department received heaps of praise from the artists and spectators for executing the event under such restricted circumstances. Each year, the festival is celebrated with great fervour in the first week of December along with the Konark Dance Festival that is held during the same period.

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