Europe

Belgium ice festival complains of warm November

An ice artist works on an ice sculpture at the Ice Magic Festival in Bruges, Belgium on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Image copyright AP
Image caption An unseasonably warm November means higher cooling costs for ice festival organisers

Organisers of an ice sculpture festival in Bruges, Belgium, say higher than average temperatures are causing their energy bills to soar.

Ice Magic's managing director Francis Vandendorpe told Associated Press that the cooling bill would be €10,000 (£7,000, $10,700) more than expected.

Europe has experienced an unusually warm November. The temperature in Bruges will hit 16c (60F) on Sunday.

"People are expecting winter, but they don't get winter", said Mr Vandendorpe.

"The winter is coming later and later" he added.

In order to prevent the ice from melting, the festival is using 12 cooling compressors to chill the hall where the sculptors work.

Several artists have complained of catching colds from frequent changes in temperature as they enter and leave the hall.

"You get sick from it. People are getting runny noses and it's pretty hard going", sculptor Kim Arents told AP.

"Outside it is too warm, working inside it's too cold."

The unseasonably warm weather comes ahead of global climate change talks in Paris later this month.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Ice Magic's managing director Francis Vandendorpe checks the quality of the ice
Image copyright AP
Image caption Some sculptors have complained of colds caused by the difference in internal and external temperature
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Another ice sculpture festival, this time with a Star Wars theme, is also taking place in Liege

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