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Art installation transforms Austrian soccer stadium into forest of 300 trees

Much as Joni Mitchell sang about paving paradise for a parking lot, a Swiss artist has set up a forest in a football stadium to suggest that one day nature might only be enjoyed in a zoo-like environment.

Basel-based Klaus Littmann has set up a forest of 300 trees in a 30,000-capacity stadium in Klagenfurt, a lakeside city in picturesque southern Austria, near Italy and Slovenia. The exhibition, which runs until Oct. 27, opens on Monday.

"For some this will be of a highly symbolic character or of a philosophical character, like the 'tree of life' or 'the place of longing'," Littman told Reuters during a media preview on Thursday. "And for many, because of the current situation, this represents a memorial as part of the climate change discussion."

While climate change has recently become pressing political issue in much of the world, the idea for the exhibition is not new - it was first drawn by Austrian artist Max Peintner almost 30 years ago, and that image is shown in the stadium.

"It goes back to the drawing which we project here by Max Peintner who in 1970 had the vision that one day, it could happen that we look at nature in designated areas only, for example in a crater architecture such as a stadium, that what we have been doing for decades at zoos with endangered animals could happen to nature," Littman said.

(Source: Reuters)

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