One of my top TV moments of the past year was Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice which got up close and personal with the cuddly, white predators. And this week in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens you to can get close to an ice cold incarnation of this magnificent beast.

The Manchester Museum are launching their Living Worlds gallery (opens 14th April 2011) by unveiling a life-sized polar bear ice sculpture in the city centre. On Thursday the 31st of March ice sculptor Mark Coreth and his team will spend six hours carving a four metre long, 2.2 metre high, 10 tonne block of ice. Over the following few days the bear will melt, a visual representation of the effects of climate change and the way human activity is speeding this process up.

Then on Friday April 1st (2-6pm), the Ice Bear team will be running a Ice Bear workshop* where you can test out your own sculpting skills (and learn a bit from the experts) by making your own clay polar bear head.

* This is a drop-in event and places are limited.

c/o Mandy_Jansen licensed under Creative Commons.