Swiss artist sculpts model castle in dry riverbed

(Reuters) – Swiss artist Francois Monthoux’s annual project to build clay sculptures on the banks of the Toleure river in Switzerland has expanded into a captivating castle complex this year as the drought plagues Europe allows him to expand his dream world.

Monthoux started this year’s project with modest ambitions six weeks ago, but drought has allowed him to build an entire city of spires. Now he has mixed feelings: he wants it to rain but is sad that his dream world will disappear when it does.

“I imagine the lives of people walking under the arches, under the bridge, looking at the monuments, looking at the city,” said Monthoux, who works with clay from the dry bed of the Toleure river in the canton of Vaud in western Switzerland. . .

“So I enter a bubble, and I become a dreamer… I see their world being created under my fingers,” he added.

Monthoux, a nature lover, says he is sad to see the plants die around him and “it would be a disaster” if a persistent drought allowed him to continue the project for years. At the same time, he knew from the start that it was temporary.

“Of course I’m a bit sad, because I’m sad that the shape I gave the case is going away,” he said.

Visitors to the sculpture enjoy it while it lasts.

“I have no words to say what I feel, because it’s… it’s just sublime,” said Haidi Butty, a resident of the canton of Vaud.

“He showed great perseverance,” said another visitor, Corrine. “I think it’s beautiful to see people committing to a project like this until the end.”

Monthoux said he will probably stop when the rain washes away his sculpture.

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