Artist hauls Greenland ice to Paris as a reminder of climate change

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NTP: Ice Watch Art exhibition, Paris
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Artist hauls Greenland ice to Paris as a reminder of climate change
People look at an art installation by a Danish-Icelandic artist entitled 'Ice Watch', made with parts of Greenland's ice cap, on display in front of the Pantheon in Paris on December 3, 2015. The installation by Olafur Eliasson is part of a project presented during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21), the United Nations conference on climate change taking place at le Bourget, on the outskirts of Paris, from November 30 to December 11. / AFP / ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
Visitors watch ice blocks part of the sculpture "Ice Watch", by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, in front of the Pantheon in Paris, Thursday Dec. 3 2015. The temporary exhibit is part of the COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
Visitors walks through ice blocks part of the sculpture "Ice Watch", by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, in front of the Pantheon in Paris, Thursday Dec. 3 2015. The temporary exhibit is part of the COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 03: A woman touches a mass of ice harvested from Greenland during an installation entitled 'Ice Watch' by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson in front of the Pantheon on December 3, 2015 in Paris, France. France hosts climate change conference COP21 in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 03: A man kisses a mass of ice harvested from Greenland during an installation entitled 'Ice Watch' by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson in front of the Pantheon on December 3, 2015 in Paris, France. France hosts climate change conference COP21 in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 03: A woman takes a picture of a mass of ice harvested from Greenland during an installation entitled 'Ice Watch' by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson in front of the Pantheon on December 3, 2015 in Paris, France. France hosts climate change conference COP21 in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
The former television forecast journalist Philippe Verdier poses beside an art installation by a Danish-Icelandic artist entitled 'Ice Watch', made with parts of Greenland's ice cap, on display in front of the Pantheon in Paris on December 3, 2015. The installation by Olafur Eliasson is part of a project presented during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21), the United Nations conference on climate change taking place at le Bourget, on the outskirts of Paris, from November 30 to December 11. / AFP / Eric FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
Water drops in a platic cup from an art installation by a Danish-Icelandic artist entitled 'Ice Watch', made with parts of Greenland's ice cap, on display in front of the Pantheon in Paris on December 3, 2015. The installation by Olafur Eliasson is part of a project presented during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21), the United Nations conference on climate change taking place at le Bourget, on the outskirts of Paris, from November 30 to December 11. / AFP / ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 03: People touch a mass of ice harvested from Greenland during an installation entitled 'Ice Watch' by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson in front of the Pantheon on December 3, 2015 in Paris, France. France hosts climate change conference COP21 in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 03: A woman takes a picture of a mass of ice harvested from Greenland during an installation entitled 'Ice Watch' by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson in front of the Pantheon on December 3, 2015 in Paris, France. France hosts climate change conference COP21 in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
People look at an art installation by a Danish-Icelandic artist entitled 'Ice Watch', made with parts of Greenland's ice cap, on display in front of the Pantheon in Paris on December 3, 2015. The installation by Olafur Eliasson is part of a project presented during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21), the United Nations conference on climate change taking place at le Bourget, on the outskirts of Paris, from November 30 to December 11. / AFP / Eric FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson poses beside his art installation 'Ice Watch' made with parts of Greenland's ice cap, on display in front of the Pantheon in Paris on December 3, 2015. The installation is part of a project presented during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21), the United Nations conference on climate change taking place at le Bourget, on the outskirts of Paris, from November 30 to December 11. / AFP / ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 03: Women dressed with costumes of clown pose in front of a block of ice that was harvested in Greenland during a installation entitled 'Ice Watch' on Place du Pantheon December 3, 2015 in Paris, France. France hosts climate change conference COP21 in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
Visitors wath ice blocks part of the sculpture "Ice Watch", by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, in front of the Pantheon in Paris, Thursday Dec. 3 2015. The temporary exhibit is part of the COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
Visitors walks through ice blocks part of the sculpture "Ice Watch", by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, Thursday Dec. 3 2015 in Paris. The temporary exhibit is part of the COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
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PARIS (Reuters) -- Residents of central Paris got a chilling reminder on Thursday of the challenge facing negotiators at the world climate summit on the city's outskirts: 80 tonnes of Greenland ice left to slowly melt on the cobbles in front of the Pantheon.

The ice was scooped from a Greenland fjord and hauled to Paris as part of an installation by the visual artist Olafur Eliasson, best known for building waterfalls in New York City in 2008 and an artificial sky inside the Tate Modern gallery in London in 2003.

"I hope (this) work of art can actually bridge the gap between the data, the scientists, the politicians and heads of state and how normal people feel," Eliasson said on Thursday of the installation, dubbed Ice Watch.

He said he hoped the installation would inspire an ambitious global deal to curb climate change as negotiators from 195 countries met for a fourth day of the Paris climate summit in one of the city's northern suburbs.

The ice was pulled from Greenland's Nuuk Fjord and transported in refrigerated containers by sea to Denmark. It was then trucked to Paris, where workers in hard hats fork-lifted them into place Wednesday night. The blocks, some as high as six feet (2m), drew an audience by Thursday morning as they melted in front of the 225-year old Pantheon.

"It really shows the connection between human beings and nature, because this ice's existence is only temporary, like our existence," said Kevin Avril, who works nearby and came down for a closer look at the installation.

Organizers said the project produced about 30 tonnes of carbon dioxide but did not affect the rapid pace of melting of the huge Greenland ice sheet that scientists say is a major contributor to rising sea levels.

Paris Ice Clock Shows Climate Countdown

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