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Sweden's Luleå carves spot for giant beaver

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Sweden's Luleå carves spot for giant beaver
Luleå's beaver. Photo: Luleå Kommun
11:34 CET+01:00
The northern Swedish town of Luleå has unveiled its annual giant animal-themed ice sculpture, with a beaver selected for 2015.
Hans Eglund, a local artist, has been producing cool creations for the city since 1986. Last year he carved up an enormous hedgehog. This time he has made a beaver.
 
The icy artwork is both a sculpture designed to be admired by visitors and an attraction for children - each animal includes a giant slide each year so that children can play on it.
 
Asked why he felt his work was so popular, Eglund told The Local on Tuesday that it was because it was "both art and a playground".
As in previous years, the animal selected had to be one found in the region. Previous ice animals in the city include a pig, a giant hedgehog and a woodpecker.
 
But Eglund admitted to The Local that there was no burning reason why he had selected a beaver for 2015.
 
"It is because we haven't had that animal before and I also had a small model of a beaver at home, so I had something to work with to help build a bigger ice animal."
 
The local tourist office was more enthusiastic about the artwork.
 
"It's such a nice tradition," said Karin Åberg, communications manager for Visit Luleå.
 
"The sculpture is something that helps people who are living in Luleå to appreciare winter time and every year it is attracting more and more visitors."
 

Luleå has previously hosted a giant woodpecker. Photo: Visit Luleå/Fredrik Broma
 
Asked if the region would soon run out of animal inspiration, Åberg told The Local: "Ha ha you might think so but we still have a lot of different birds and fish to get through before that!"
 
The animal was put into position on Tuesday morning, with the childrens' slide expected to be completed by the end of the week.
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