Renowned Swiss light artist Gerry Hofstetter has been lighting up the 14,690 feet mountain with spectacular displays of country flags and messages of hope to inspire solidarity as people face up to the alarming spread of the deadly pandemic.
The tricolour was the latest to be emblazoned onto the jagged mountain on Friday night, which stands alone on the horizon amid the border between Switzerland and Italy.
Images of the projection, nearly 800 metres high, were tweeted by Indian Foreign Service Officer Gurleen Kaur. “Friendship from Himalayas to Alps. Thank You,” the officer tweeted.
Switzerland expresses solidarity with India in its fight against #COVID19. Swiss mountain of #Matterhorn lit in tricolour. Friendship from Himalayas to Alps 🇮🇳🏔🇨🇭— Gurleen Kaur (@gurleenmalik) April 18, 2020
Thank you @zermatt_tourism#Together_against_Corona @IndiainSwiss @MEAIndia @IndiaUNGeneva pic.twitter.com/O84dBkPfti
The light projections have been beamed since March 24 from four kilometres away onto the north and east faces of the mountain.
The words "hope", "solidarity" and "stay home" have since been projected onto the peak, along with a giant red heart on a white background -- in the Swiss national colours.
The flags of Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Italy and the Swiss region of Ticino were also beamed onto the mountain on Wednesday night.
Dominating the skyline, Hofstetter said the Matterhorn stands out like a lighthouse, which triggered the idea of beaming out messages.
"Light is hope. So if you do a message with light in such a situation as we are in now, you give that hope -- especially with this iconic, standalone, pyramid-shaped, incredibly strong mountain," he said.
"The Matterhorn was here before mankind was.
"You can go back in history, two, three or four thousand years; when they had disease, it was art that brought people together for hope and looking for a brighter future once again. Only art can do this."
The Matterhorn overlooks the ski resort of Zermatt deep down in the valley below. The normally-bustling town is devoid of tourists, hotels and holiday homes largely empty. The starry night is eerily quiet.
Switzerland, which has registered more than 18,000 cases and 430 deaths from COVID-19, has shut schools, bars, restaurants and non-food shops in a bid to halt the spread of the virus.
Around the world, more than two million people are known to have been infected, while over 150,000 lives have been lost in the pandemic.