About 100 people gathered at Tauranga Art Gallery to witness an intricate artwork being destroyed.

A closing ceremony was held on Saturday where a mandala, a sand painting, was swept up and poured into the harbour.

The painstakingly intricate mandala, made up of millions of grains of coloured sand in a geometric pattern, was swept up by monks and released into Tauranga Harbour.

Some of the sand from the mandala was given to those gathered at the gallery as a blessing.

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Over 11 days Tibetan monk-artists Venerable Geshe Jamyang and Venerable Karma Gyasey used ridged funnels to create the mandala. The funnels let coloured sand trickle out when rubbed with a piece of horn.

The work, titled The Medicine Buddha, the Buddha of Healing, was swept up to reflect the impermanence of all phenomena - everything has a beginning, middle and end.