In what could literally be called the coolest launch of festivities leading up to the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, a spectacular, life-size ice sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi has been installed at a popular site in Canada.

Sculpture, almost 7 feet tall, was created & set up on Friday at Hotel de Glace, North America’s only ice hotel. It was sculpted by Canadian ice artist Marc Lepire.

Hotel is located near Quebec City, the capital of the province of Quebec.

Indian consulate in Toronto officially announced the inauguration on Saturday with a tweet, saying, “Launching #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav, to mark 75 years of India’s Independence, with an ice sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi in the iconic ice hotel.”

India’s consul general in Toronto, Apoorva Srivastava, said, “We wanted to launch India@75 celebrations at an iconic location with an invocation of Mahatma Gandhiji.”

She reached out to the hotel for the ice sculpture, which decided to go ahead with the plan. “I am glad that they not only deputed their best sculptor to make the statue, but also gave us a prominent spot to display it,” she added.

Srivastava was at the site on Friday when the ice statue was created.

The sculptor Lepire told leading News Paper, “To make Gandhi was very exciting for me.”

Lepire, who is based in Quebec City, used 9 blocks of ice and completed the sculpture at the location in five hours’ time.

The Hotel de Glace is a Canadian landmark & has been a popular tourist destination since it opened in 2001. It’s a seasonal hotel, as the entire structure is constructed out of ice in the winter & it only remains open between late December and late March, after which it is taken down.

Making the hotel afresh each year consumes about 500 tonnes to ice and 30,000 tonnes of snow. It attracts nearly 100,000 visitors each year, & features, according to its website “majestic snow arches, crystal clear ice sculptures” other than 21 rooms and theme suites.

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