Il Dito is how the people of Milan call the statue. Still, its real name is L.O.V.E., which means Libertà, Odio, Vendetta, Eternità (Freedom, Hate, Vengeance, Eternity in Italian). At first glance, it seems like the statue is flipping off Palazzo Mezzanotte, the main building in the Pizza Affari. This could make sense since this the home to the Milanese stock exchange. But it seems like this is not the case. When you look closer to the statue, you can see the middle finger is prominent because all the others have been severed from the hand. Somehow, it feels like they were eroded by time or bitten off.
Since Maurizio Cattelan never talked about the meaning behind it, we are left to our own interpretation of the facts. But, personally, I like to believe that this statue is a middle finger to the stock exchange, to fascists anywhere and to the financial institutions behind the stock exchange. Italy has been especially affected but the economic crisis that spread through Europe from 2008 onwards.
Maurizio Cattelan is an artist from Padua, he was born in 1960, and he is known for his irreverent and provocative artwork. His creations always have a way to transform irony into art in an irreverent way. Like Il Dito in the heart of Milan. Or should we say the L.O.V.E. of Milan? I don’t know for sure.
Piazza Affari is in the middle of the business district of Milan, and it’s not a proper touristic destination. Still, we managed to find some time to go there and explore the surrounding area. It’s great to take a detour of the most iconic places in the city to come to see Il Dito and flip the stock exchange and all the fascists. You should do it.