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A Deserted Hand

A Deserted Hand.........................(manodeldesierto.jpg)

It’s one of the highlights of the Pan-American Highway, an eerie hand reaching out of the desert, fingertips pointed at the sky. Like something out of Gulliver’s Travels, La Mano del Desierto is in fact the creation of Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázabal, built in 1992 in the Atacama Desert.

A Deserted Hand.........................(manodeldesierto2.jpg)

Located in the middle of nowhere, some 75km south of the city of Antofagasta, the sculpture has nevertheless become something of a tourist destination.

A Deserted Hand.........................(manodeldesierto9.jpg)

The hand has a base of iron and cement, and stands 11m/36ft tall, at 3608ft above sea level. Occasionally, for some inexplicable reason, it gets vandalized. Luckily, devoted preservationists clean it up again.

A Deserted Hand.........................(manodeldesierto4.jpg)

It’s one of the several surreal hand sculptures created by Irarrazábal around the world – like Dedos in Madrid, and Monumento al Ahogado (Monument to the Drowned) in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

A Deserted Hand.........................(manodeldesierto3.jpg)

And it seems plenty of other artists have had similarly disturbing visions of disembodied hands (check out this link).

A Deserted Hand.........................(manodeldesierto7.jpg)

One well worth the drive. RM

A Deserted Hand.........................(manodeldesierto8.jpg)

A Deserted Hand.........................(manodeldesierto6.jpg)

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  • Laura Rodriguez

    March 20, 2010

    I love this sculpture! However, the reader must know that unless you are approaching San Pedro de Atacama by car, it is very unlikely that the bus will stop for a picture.

    I was lucky enough to be looking over the window when we passed by:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMW1y5_6KSU

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