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In Italy, A Rant Against Capitalism, or Art?

Some people would like to give the stock market the finger.

In Italy, they did.

Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan poses near his sculpture depicting the middle-finger gesture during its unveiling in front of Milan stock exchange.
Guiseppe Cacace | AFP | Getty Images
Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan poses near his sculpture depicting the middle-finger gesture during its unveiling in front of Milan stock exchange.

A controversial sculpture outside the stock exchange in Milan shows a hand with all of its fingers missing except the middle one.

Sculptor Maurizio Cattelan is calling his creation "L.O.V.E.".

Investors might call it the Fickle Finger of Fate.

The BBC reports the artist carved the massive, 36-foot tall hand from the same Carrara marble favored by Michelangelo.

Do people hate it?

Well...the local council is extending the statue's display through October 24th, and some are pushing to make the area its permanent home. This is the same city, you'll recall, which houses one of the world's most famous works of art, Da Vinci's sacred "The Last Supper."

Times have changed.

Cattelan is known for previous controversial sculptures, like the one of a woman being crucified and another of Pope John Paul II being hit by a meteorite.

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The BBC says the artist denies this latest sculpture is a rant against capitalism. In fact, Reuters says the hand is supposed to mock a Nazi salute, and Cattelan calls the result "more an act of love than a comment on the financial world."

Nazis? Act of love? Now I'm really confused.

Regardless of the motive, there may be a few investors who'd like to commission a similar work to be displayed at Wall and Broad.

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