Wall Street’s charging-bull statue is the very epitome of financial strength. Outside the stock exchange in Italy’s financial capital is an equally unambiguous symbol: a giant marble middle finger.
The 36-foot white sculpture is a hand without fingers except that vulgar one, pointing away from Milan’s stock market.
Maurizio Cattelan, the most famous contemporary italian artist, donated it to the city in 2011.
“Some people have a sense of irony, and some do not,” Mr. Cattelan said in an interview. Among those who enjoy a good chuckle, Mr. Cattelan says, are his patrons, who are some of European capitalism’s biggest figures.
The idea of Cattelan was create a statue that would play on—but transform—Italy’s Fascist hand salute from the 1930s. By cutting off the fingers and mutilating the hand, he says he was criticizing the totalitarianism that ravaged Europe in the last century.
L.O.V.E. is the name, Free (Libertà in italian…
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