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The Hand, Meir
Another quick personal project: “the Hand” on the Meir shopping street in Antwerp, Belgium.
The Hand is a replica of part of the artwork “L’Ecoute” by Henri de Miller located at the Forum des Halles in Paris; in the original version the hand is accompanied by a head.
For the city of Antwerp the Hand has a symbolic meaning: according to the founding myth of Antwerp, the giant Antigoon was terrorising the river Scheldt, demanding a toll from any skipper using the river. If a skipper couldn’t pay or refused to pay the toll, Antigoon would hack off the person’s hand and throw it into the river. Finally the Roman hero Brabo confronted and killed Antigoon, hacked of his hand and in turn threw it into the river.
In Dutch “throwing the hand” translates into “hand werpen”; hence folklore states that the name “Antwerpen” derives from this mythological story.
Today the hand is popular with children (who like to climb all over it) and for tourist pictures!