Briefly

Stuff that matters

Emotional Support

Some massive hands are propping up Venice because climate change.

Artist Lorenzo Quinn seeks to draw attention to human ingenuity — and the modern threat of climate change — with a giant statue unveiled this week, Mashable reports.

Lorenzo Quinn

The hands, each weighing 5,000 pounds, are modeled on those of the artist’s 11-year-old son. They emerge from the Grand Canal to rest against one of Venice’s famous facades in a metaphorical gesture of support.

Over the last 50 years, rising water and subsiding land have both taken a toll on the low-lying Unesco World Heritage Site. Now, climate change threatens to raise seas around the world to disastrous levels, threatening coastal and island communities everywhere.

According to the artist’s press release, the hands “symbolize tools that can both destroy the world, but also have the capacity to save it.”

Look, if any one place can tidily sum up the power of human ingenuity in the face of enormous challenges, it’s Venice: a city built over 1,000 years ago on what is more or less a pile of mud.