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Flipping The Bird In St. Moritz: 'Stinkefinger' Sculpture Salutes Jet-Set Skiers

Nikolai Winter can be sure his latest sculpture will get some attention: located on a mountaintop at one of the jet set’s favorite ski resorts, his “elegant” female hand is flipping the bird to all the rich and famous who whiz by.

What are you saying? (Nikolai Winter)
What are you saying? (Nikolai Winter)


Visitors to the exclusive ski resort of St. Moritz, in Switzerland, are in for a surprise: the sight of a large sculpture of a woman's hand – giving the finger!

The artwork by Basel-based Swiss artist Nikolai Winter sits atop Berg Muottas Muragl in Samedan (St. Moritz). The anthracite-colored sculpture, which is 2.3 meters (7.55 feet) high, was flown in by helicopter.

On his website, Winter states: "Hands especially fascinate me. They can be shown in various postures and sometimes even have a symbolic character. Therefore I use their communicative impact to give my sculptures aura and expression."

Sure, but in this case, the nail-polished hand leaves little doubt to what it "symbolizes," though one might wonder whether the finger is being given by or to those skiing past.

Winter is quoted in German as saying: "In a sexy, provocative but elegant way that sort of embodies the Jet Set a ‘doigt d'honneur" now sits perched above the über-chic resort of St. Moritz." Winter used the somewhat more sonorous French term "doigt d'honneur" to denote the digit rather than the inelegant-sounding German term "Stinkefinger."

Winter's striking sculpture is now the fourth artwork on the 2,400-meter (7,874-foot) Muottas Muragl -- but by far the most "expressive."

Read the full story in German by Anna Warnholtz

Photo - Nikolai Winter

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Life On "Mars": With The Teams Simulating Space Missions Under A Dome

A niche research community plays out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another planet.

Photo of a person in a space suit walking toward the ​Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

At the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

Sarah Scoles

In November 2022, Tara Sweeney’s plane landed on Thwaites Glacier, a 74,000-square-mile mass of frozen water in West Antarctica. She arrived with an international research team to study the glacier’s geology and ice fabric, and how its ice melt might contribute to sea level rise. But while near Earth’s southernmost point, Sweeney kept thinking about the moon.

“It felt every bit of what I think it will feel like being a space explorer,” said Sweeney, a former Air Force officer who’s now working on a doctorate in lunar geology at the University of Texas at El Paso. “You have all of these resources, and you get to be the one to go out and do the exploring and do the science. And that was really spectacular.”

That similarity is why space scientists study the physiology and psychology of people living in Antarctic and other remote outposts: For around 25 years, people have played out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another world. Polar explorers are, in a way, analogous to astronauts who land on alien planets. And while Sweeney wasn’t technically on an “analog astronaut” mission — her primary objective being the geological exploration of Earth — her days played out much the same as a space explorer’s might.

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