From Prague to Pisa, Musement takes a look at 14 of the world’s most unusual sculptures and structures.
We took a look at some of the world’s most famous sculptures, so now we’ve decided to take a look at some of the most unusual. In no particular order, here are 14 works that are more or less known that should be on your list.
1. Brown-Nosers (David Černý, 2003), Prague
A rebellious, provocative and controversial artist, David Černý’s signature can be found around Prague, and it’s impossible to miss out on his irreverent and satirical works. In the small garden of Futura Gallery stands “Brown-Nosers,” which needs no translation. By climbing up the ladder and looking inside, you will understand what makes this installation so provocative.
2. Kůň, the horse of the Lucerna passage (David Černý, 1999), Prague
Also in Prague, one of Černý’s most iconic statues is in Lucerna Passage (under the Lucerna Palace). It’s considered a satirical and stunning parody of the symbolic equestrian statue of Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of the Czech Republic, located on the square bearing the same name.
3. The Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali
The Great Mosque of Djenné, an incredible achievement, is the world’s largest mudbrick building, or banco. In addition to being an iconic monument of sub-Saharan Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s an achievement of breathtaking beauty.
4. The Fork (Jean-Pierre Zaugg and Georges Favre, 1995), Vevey, Switzerland
The largest fork in the world, weighing in at just under 450 kilograms of stainless steel, is planted in the middle of Lake Geneva in front of the Alimentarium, making it an integral part of Vevey’s landscape and culture.
5. The Leaning Tower, Pisa, Italy
This monument requires no introduction. We all have a “leaning” for this tower’s rather unusual disposition.
6. The Headington Shark (John Buckley, 1986), Oxford, England
This shark made from more than seven meters of fiberglass embedded in the roof of a house in Oxford‘s Headington village was commissioned by the former owner of the premises to protest the American bombing of Libya.
7. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, USA
Do you know which four presidents are sculpted into the Mount Rushmore National Memorial? From left to right: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln!
8. Chand Baori, Rajasthan, India
If you haven’t heard of it before it’s a pity because Chand Baori is definitely worth a visit. Dating back to the Middle Ages, it’s one of the oldest baori (stepwells) in Rajasthan. The countless steps that make up this well contribute to its truly spectacular architecture and aesthetics.
9. Kindlifresserbrunnen or The Child Eater of Bern (Hans Gieng, 1545), Bern, Switzerland
Is it a warning to the city’s Jewish community, a representation of Cronus, the Greek god of the harvest, or simply a fictional representation? Countless theories float around this fountain on the Kornhausplatz, which has frightened the children of Bern centuries.
10. Monsters Park, Viterbo, Italy
Not one but dozens of bizarre 16th-century sculptures surrounded by natural vegetation can be admired in Viterbo’s gardens of Bomarzo, just north of Rome, and more commonly known as the Bomarzo Monster Park.
11. Mano del Desierto (Mario Irarrázaba, 1992), Atacama Desert, Chile
This half-buried hand rising in the heart of Chile’s Atacama Desert will not leave you indifferent. It’s believed that the artist performed it to pay tribute to the victims of the Chilean military regime of 1973-1990 and to denounce the injustice and torture during the dictatorship.
12. The Crooked House (Szotyński and Zaleski, 2004), Sopot, Poland
The Crooked House of Sopot, Poland, on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, is the most photographed building in the country, and for good reason. Surely you have never witnessed such a dreamlike structure in real life.
13. Vigeland Sculpture Park (Gustav Vigeland, 1907), Oslo, Norway
Vigelandsparken is one of the most visited tourist sites in Norway, welcoming more than a million visitors a year. This incredible Oslo park includes more than 200 sculptures by the artist who also designed the park’s architecture. Monolitten (the Monolith) and Sinnataggen (the angry boy) are probably the two most famous works.
14. L.O.V.E (Maurizio Cattelan, 2010), Milan
Impossible to not include one of our local works on a list of this nature. L.O.V.E, an acronym for libertà, odio, vendetta and eternità (freedom, hate, vengeance and eternity) is an emblem of our beloved Milan. Located in the heart of Piazza degli Affari in front of the Stock Exchange Palace and built when fascism was in full swing, it’s possible to interpret this irreverent sculpture as a message denouncing capitalism, a metaphor of the current fascism. Besides, it’s not a middle finger, but rather a fascist salute with cut-off fingers.