L.O.V.E. the “Finger” will grace Piazza Affari for the next 40 years
MILAN accepted the donation of L.O.V.E., proposed by Italy’s most famous contemporary artist, Maurizio Cattelan. The 36-foot marble sculpture “L.O.V.E.,” an acronym for love, hate, vendetta, eternity in Italian is placed outside the stock exchange in Italy’s financial capital. It’s an unambiguous symbol: a giant marble middle finger. The Milanese refer to it simply as “il dito,” or “the finger.” The square where it’s placed, Piazza Affari, is a very central square usually cluttered with illegally parked cars, and its grandest building, the 1932 Palazzo Mezzanotte, the stock exchange headquarters, which is a hallmark of Fascist architecture.
One asset managers group already moved their conference elsewhere because of The Finger. And the country’s exchange regulator, Consob, warned it will move its annual meeting too if something isn’t done.
Maurizio Cattelan donated the sculpture to the city last year on the condition that it grace Piazza Affari, or Business Square, where the bourse has its headquarters and a few days ago refined the change of ownership. The “Finger” has become permanent installation in Piazza Affari and cannot be moved for the next forty years.
The sculptor described it as an anti-fascist statement. He transformed 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. As it’s placed, it points away from the stock exchange, and not at it.
Now that the donation is official, and will stay in place for a long time, to celebrate the event, Friday, October 12, from 20 to 24 hours, the Business Centre will be transformed into a genuine Ballroom with a smooth orchestra and dancers, by partnering with Disaronno. A party open to the entire city, with free admission and free. Present in the square at 20 Councillor Stefano Boeri and Maurizio Cattelan.
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