Lucerne art installation highlights coral bleaching

Coral bleaching is caused by global warming. It threatens ecosystems and livelihoods. Keystone / Ove Hoegh-guldberg

A group of Swiss artists have placed some 480 white porcelain corals in a national monument in Lucerne to draw attention to coral bleaching caused by global warming.

This content was published on August 21, 2020 - 19:06

“Corals cast out of porcelain decorate the water bottom at the Lion Monument. At night, thanks to a fluorescent glaze, they glow, illustrating nature’s call for help,” they sayExternal link.

The installation, inaugurated on Friday, is called "Whitening Out" and can be seen until September 20.

More than a hundred people have shaped, baked and glazed the clay corals. The water had to be emptied and then refilled to prepare the project.  

Coral is our underwater forest, providing food and oxygen for the water and the ecosystem around the reef. Coral lives in symbiosis with algae, which feed it and give it colour. As the planet warms, the algae are leaving the coral, which loses its colour and starves to death.  

The Lion Monument in Lucerne is a rock relief commemorating Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution. It is one of the most famous monuments in Switzerland and was placed under national monument protection in 2006. It draws its name from a sculpture of a mortally wounded lion.

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