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In Denmark, a very silly, supersized sandcastle

9 July 2021

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

Rakewell has always enjoyed building sandcastles, fancying himself a godlike architect on the shore only for the sea to come in and wash away his miniature Towers of London and Humboldt Forums. Your correspondent once built a small silty imitation of Rafael Viñoly’s Walkie-Talkie skyscraper, which he still considers better than the original (it wasn’t hard).

But the point about sandcastles is that they crumble, and that their builders fight the tide for a few minutes before watching their diminutive kingdoms vanish. Not so a colossal sandcastle that has been constructed in Blokhus, North Jutland, by Wilfred Stijger, a Dutch manchild whose latest creation towers some 21 metres over the small seaside town. It is, so they say, the tallest sandcastle ever built.

Stijger’s fortress, which will stand for at least six months, is an eclectic erection that looks like a cross between a pyramid and a castle. It is ridiculous and wonderful, with its impossible turrets and coronavirus finials, and its meeting of mythical beasts (dragons) and Jutland tourist board imagery (windsurfing). And crucially, it is nowhere near the encroaching waves – but in what looks like a gravel carpark.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.