Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik suffered injuries on Sunday after an unidentified man attacked him during the Konark Sand Art Festival in Odisha, ANI reported. Pattnaik was taken to the Puri district hospital.

The man had allegedly tried to snatch Pattnaik’s wrist watch.

“The youth caught hold of my arm during a handshake and tried to snatch my wrist watch,” Pattnaik told The Times of India. “When I tried to resist, he attacked me and disappeared into the crowd...I could not find the youth. Even my students and friends tried to catch him, but failed.”

Pattnaik is the brand ambassador of the five-day international festival, which ends on Tuesday. The Odisha government’s Tourism Department organised the event.

The artist has won international awards for his innovative sand sculptures and was also honoured with the Padma Shri by the Indian government in 2014. His works depict subjects of global and cultural relevance and often aim to encourage national integrity, religious tolerance and create environmental awareness. He also holds the Guinness world record for creating the tallest sand castle.