The Matterhorn, a mythical mountain located in the swiss-Italian border, which rises to 4478 meters, lights all night “as a sign of hope and of solidarity” in this time of pandemic Covid-19.
“Hope” (hope in English), “Solidarity”, the flags of italy and switzerland, a gigantic red heart on a white background… there are Several images sent in by a projector located several hundred meters from the walls of this iconic mountain, which looks like a giant pyramid and of which the silhouette is represented on the packaging of the chocolate Toblerone.
This action of the swiss artist Gerry Hofstetter, who transforms buildings, monuments and landscapes of the world in objects of art are ephemeral, and was broadcasted live by the commune of Zermatt (zermatt.ch/hope) and must, for the moment, to last until 19 April, the deadline for the measures taken in Switzerland against the coronavirus.
“The idea is to do something nice for the people of the whole world “, told AFP the director of the tourist Office of Zermatt, Daniel Luggen.
“The Matterhorn, it is an important symbol for us, for the Switzerland, a symbol that radiates in the world and when we radiate like that, we are convinced that it gives hope to people,” he added.
Kind of tooth rock piercing the sky, the Matterhorn (Matterhorn in German), is one of the great peaks of the mountain climbing, especially known for its north face, and usually attracts every year thousands of mountaineers.
Now, only a few barking dogs and the roaring sound of a river come to break the silence of this valley where is Zermatt, deserted by the tourists because of the pandemic of sars coronavirus.
But the village wants to show “solidarity” with all the people who are currently suffering, and it intends, through these illuminations, to thank all those who help to overcome this crisis as the nursing staff.
Light and hope
“The light, it is the hope. So, if you make a message box with the light in a situation like the one we currently live in, you give this hope, ” he explained to the AFP, the artist Gerry Hofstetter.
“The Matterhorn was here before humanity existed. You can go back in History (…) when there was disease, it was the art that brought together all the people to find a better future. Only art can do this, ” he explained.
Reported by China to WHO on 31 December, the new coronavirus has already cut more than 46,000 lives in the world.
In spite of the containment measures that relate to an inhabitant of the planet on two, balance sheets are more heavy-duty : more than 13 000 deaths in Italy and 9,000 in Spain, more than 5,000 in the United States, 4,000 of them in France…
In Switzerland, more than 430 people have died since the first case was detected on February 24. Switzerland, which has 8.5 million inhabitants, is the 6th the most affected country in Europe for the number of people infected after Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, according to the WHO. This can be explained by the fact that the swiss Confederation is among the States tracking the most in the world, with 139 330 tests carried out, of which 15% were positive.
The swiss canton of the more affected is that of the canton of Ticino, bordering Italy. The flag of ticino is also projected on the Matterhorn.
In the Face of the pandemic, the government of switzerland has ordered the closure of schools, cafes, restaurants and shops other than food, health and other necessities and has banned gatherings of more than five people until the 19th April, refusing, however, to confine the population.