What the Little Mermaid statue is to Copenhagen, a giant stainless steel fork is to Vevey, a lakeside town in Switzerland. While the bronze lady looks out at the sea waiting for her prince, the La Fourchette faces passersby, as if waiting for someone to pull it out of the waters of Lake Geneva where it has been embedded since 2007.
This would be a superhuman feat, as the fork weighs a monumental 929 pounds and stands tall at 26 feet and 2.4 inches. It was declared the world’s tallest fork in 2014, and has become a town symbol.
But how did a giant fork come to be lodged in the lake? The bizarre installation was originally created in 1995 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Alimentarium, a food-themed museum in the town. The giant utensil was designed by sculptor Jean-Pierre Zaugg and was instant hit among the townspeople and tourists.
Despite efforts to make it a permanent feature, in 1996 it was shipped off to a garden in Littau, Lucerne, and only made it back to Vevey in 2007 for an exhibition on cutlery. This time, a stronger push was made by the town council to retain it permanently as part of the lake’s landscape and they succeeded. So there it stands, facing away from the picturesque lake framed by mountains and looking at the food museum that brought it to life.