Huge chocolate statues spring up in Belgium

DURBUY, Belgium (Reuters) - It sounds like a chocoholic’s dreamland - giant sculptures of elephants and flamingos all crafted from Belgian chocolate.

The animal creations, up to 3 meters tall, are the centerpiece of an exhibition in Belgium of around 50 chocolate pieces by 40 international artists.

The ChocoPalace festival, in the small city of Durbuy, southeast of Brussels, also features a chocolate river and stalls selling macaroons and boozy chocolate drinks.

The festival has already attracted more than 30,000 visitors and is set to draw in plenty more over the Easter holidays until it closes on April 8.

Durbuy, with a population of around 10,000, light-heartedly bills itself as “the smallest city in the world”, and attracts sightseers from nearby Brussels and Luxembourg.

“The idea was to bring the biggest chocolate sculpture festival in the world to the smallest city in the world,” said Laura Trommelen, from PLG, the advertising group that has organised the festival.

Reporting by Natalie Rice; Writing by Samantha Koester; Editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek and Alison Williams