Huge chocolate statues spring up in Belgium

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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 3m tall, are the centrepiece of an exhibition in Belgium of around 50 chocolate pieces by 40 international artists.

The ChocoPalace festival, in the small city of Durbuy, south-east 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.

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