An artist has posed the question of why so many mountain peaks are dominated by Christian crosses by installing a crescent-shaped sculpture on a summit in eastern Switzerland.
Artist Christian Meier, a confirmed atheist, transported his three-metre high “Half Moon” sculpture up the Freiheitexternal link (translated into English as Freedom) mountain in canton Appenzell Inner Rhodes overnight.
Hikers reached the peak on Wednesday to find the artwork, together with several solar panels.
“Because so many peaks have crosses on them, it struck me as a great idea to put up an equally absurd contrast,” he told the online news portal Watson.
Giving an interview to the St Galler Tagblatt newspaper, Meier repeated his view that it is "absurd" to erect religious symbols on mountains. "Religion is a private matter. Therefore Christian symbols do not belong on a mountain top," he said.
"I am an opponent of an unreasonable thought systems such as religion, homeopathy or astrology," he added.
"Naturally I wanted to provoke in a fun way. But it goes beyond that. The actions of an artist should be food for thought, both visually and in content."
The local authorities have demanded that Meier remove his sculpture, which has no permit to be on the mountain. The Appenzell artist has also been threatened with a fine.
swissinfo.ch with agencies