American Flag Lights Up the Matterhorn as a Message of Hope

In an innovative, artistic integration of light projection and nature’s spectacle, the Swiss Alpine town of Zermatt has been illuminating the iconic Matterhorn mountain for a few hours each day during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s an inspiring gesture intended to convey solidarity with all those around the world who are currently suffering, as well as gratitude to the heroes who are helping to overcome the virus.

Transforming the Swiss Alps’ 14,692-foot tall, world-famous landmark into a dazzling beacon of hope, an ongoing series of projections began back on March 24, and features the flags of various nations and provinces affected by the virus.

Thus far, flags of the U.K. Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Japan have overlaid the pristine slope, as well as images and phrases of encouragement, such as #Hope, #StayAtHome, #AllOfUs and “Dream Now, Travel Later”.

On the evening of April 16, a massive projection of the American blanketed the mountainside. Local tourism organization, Zermatt Matterhorn, wrote in a Facebook post, “Our thoughts are with all American people at this unprecedented time. We look forward to meeting again at the foot of the Matterhorn, we are all in this together.” Acknowledging the U.S.’ unique situation as the country currently having the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, Zermatt also wrote on its website, “May our message convey solidarity, and give you hope and strength.”

Light artist, Gerry Hofstetter, is the creative force behind bringing the stirring imagery, whose overriding message is “Light is Hope”, to Matterhorn mountain. CNN pointed out that Hofstetter is known for his large-scale projections onto landmarks to serve as temporary art installations. Back in 2012, during the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, he shone a vivid, full-size image of the ship onto a massive iceberg in Antarctica.

Zermatt Matterhorn has set up streaming webcam footage online so that global citizens can view the displays right from home. “We support you with great pictures in this travel-free time and send you our best wishes from the Matterhorn,” wrote Zermatt.

For more information, visit zermatt.ch/en/hope.

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