Switzerland's most famous mountain will be in Oberhausen until the end of 2018. To be more precise, it is hanging from the ceiling, part of an impressive installation in a converted gasometer. More than 250,000 visitors have marvelled at it so far.
It took technicians six weeks to hang the 7.5-ton steel sculpture, covered in white canvas, from the ceiling of the former industrial landmark. Seventeen projectors beam images onto the canvas, transforming the sculpture into a deceptively real miniature copy of the famous symbol of Switzerland. Standing underneath the sculpture looking at the large, round mirrored surface on the ground creates a bird’s eye view of the Matterhorn. Even for experienced mountain climbers, it's an unusual perspective.
The organisers also considered using a sculpture of K2 or Mount Everest for the Oberhausen exhibition; after all, they are both higher than the Zermatt summit. However, curator Peter Pachnicke voted for the Matterhorn.
The exhibition, "The Call of the Mountains", was put together jointly with the Matterhorn Museum in Zermatt. The German exhibition organisers were loaned some items, including a real piece of the Matterhorn and Edward Whymper’s original ice pick from the first ascent of the Matterhorn in July 1865.
"The Call of the Mountains" showcases mountains’ diversity and recounts the fascinating pull that these imposing worlds of tough altitudes and thin air exert on people. The exhibition allows visitors to participate in the legendary first ascents of the most famous summits on Earth, with their incredible triumphs and dramatic defeats. It also describes the age-old reverence that people feel for mountains, as they have long been places of religious worship.