Qatar gets new public art to mark Asian Cup win

The historic victory has been marked with a new piece

Qatar gets new public art to mark Asian Cup win

If you’re casually strolling through the buzzing streets of Souq Waqif and happen to see a gigantic finger right in front of you, do not be alarmed.

Following the legendary victory by the Qatari football team at the Asian Cup, Qatar Museums has dedicated a new public art piece to this sporting success.

Le Pouce (the giant thumb) is one of the best-known works by acclaimed French artist César Baldaccini.

Baldaccini (1921-1998) was born to Italian parents in Marseilles, France. He was an important figure in the 1960s French art movement Noveau Réalisme, which was inspired by the use of everyday objects as opposed to traditional art materials.

The artwork is a popular example of his tendency to create larger than life experiences.

The original cast of the artist’s own thumb was first produced for an exhibition on the theme of hands titled Le Main in 1965, in Paris.

The artist then made a series of increasingly larger versions of the thumb, scaling-up the smaller model using traditional techniques. The motif of the thumb has become the most well-known of the artist’s subjects.

Le Pouce is the latest addition to Qatar’s extensive public art collection, which aims to connect audiences living in and visiting Qatar with inspiring works of art through unexpected interactions in daily life.

Souq Waqif is an ideal location, being the historic heart to the city. The piece is located in the courtyard next to the police station.

The reason for choosing this spot is to emphasise the scale of the work in relation to the surrounding buildings and the juxtaposition of the sculpture on the streetscape of cafes.

At night, the highly polished bronze patina of the sculpture complements the glow of street lighting that we all love so much in Souq Waqif.

The work is visible from numerous angles during the day and has become an important marker and a familiar spot for visitors to the Souq.

So, see you at the thumb?

Located at the courtyard near the police station, in front of Damasca One restaurant.

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