Brussels, Belgium (Reuters): A beach in Belgium has been transformed into a giant sandy gallery, featuring larger-than-life super heroes, cartoon characters and Cinderella's castle, for one of the world's biggest sand-sculpture festivals.

Working with 7,000 tonnes of sand, a team of 32 artists spent five weeks creating the 150 works for the Ostend Sand Sculpture Festival, which opens on Saturday and runs until September, providing rain does not wash away the exhibits.

Many of the artists work in other mediums, such as wood or marble carving, and said they found sand sculpting presented some challenges.

Russian artist Sergey Zaplatn told Reuters,"What I like in the sand is that you must be very tactile while carving, I am also an ice carver and to compare with ice, the sand is very fragile."