The iconic Matterhorn mountain in the alpine resort of Zermatt is being illuminated at present with messages of support and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Messages of hope are being projected on the Matterhorn © Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The messages #stayhome, #hope and images of a heart and the Italian flag have been projected on the famous mountain that borders Switzerland and Italy, which peaks at 4478 metres. It is part of a campaign by Swiss light artist, Gerry Hofstetter, who transforms buildings, monuments and landscapes all over the world into temporary works of art. The projections include the Italian flag because Italy has suffered the highest number of deaths to date worldwide due to the coronavirus.

The Matterhorn is lighting up with message of support
The Matterhorn is being illuminated with messages of support and resilience © Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Zermatt has starred among Switzerland’s glitziest resorts since the mid-19th century, and the Matterhorn is an unfathomable monolith that towers above it. British climber Edward Whymper reached its summit in 1865 after eight attempts, and plucky souls have gone there ever since to climb it. It is widely visible due to its massive height, so the illuminations can be seen for miles around. Like all of Switzerland, large gatherings and events have been banned in Zermatt after the Swiss government declared a state of emergency that is due to last until 19 April.

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The Italian flag is being projected on to the Matterhorn © Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

As part of the measures the country is taking to curb the spread of the virus, numerous ski resorts have also temporarily closed, and additional screening procedures have been implemented at the borders. The illuminations are designed to provide solace to those who see them and are being broadcast live by the resort's webcam. They are currently scheduled to run until 19 April.

Keep up to date with Lonely Planet's latest travel-related COVID-19 news here.

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