Lion Monument 21

The Lion Monument of Lucerne Through the Lens of Contemporary Art

Contemporary art considers a historical monument


Title Information

Edited by Kunsthalle Luzern and Bettina Staub

1st edition

, 2022

Text in English and German


304 pages, 382 color and 42 b/w illustrations

24.5 x 31 cm

ISBN 978-3-03942-087-2


The famous Lion Monument in Lucerne, located in a park in the heart of the city, commemorates the Swiss Guards in the service of the French King Louis XVI who fell in the storming of the Tuileries Palace in Paris on August 10, 1792. The monument, hewn directly into the rockface according to a design by the Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, was inaugurated on August 10, 1821. Together with the nearby Glacier Garden, it is today one of the Swiss city’s major tourist attractions.

To mark the memorial’s bicentenary, the Kunsthalle Lucerne launched the Lion Monument 21 program of exhibitions, performances, podiums, and interdisciplinary events. Between 2017 and 2022, they considered the monument from an artistic standpoint. The art projects demonstrated a wide range of artistic stances and related the monument to a variety of themes.

This book documents the entire project through some 400 images, texts, and conversations. It also constitutes a socially committed reference book for the artistic contextualization of monuments, which records and reflects on the insights of the Lion Monument 21 project.


Contributions by Jana Avanzini, Martin R. Dean, Peter Fischer, Sabine Gebhardt Fink, Marcel Glanzmann, Silvia Henke, Karin Mairitsch, Peter Omachen, Heinz Stahlhut, Bettina Staub, and Beat Züsli.


Kunsthalle Luzern is a lively platform for the display, communication, and discussion of contemporary art by local, national, and international artists in central Switzerland’s major city of Lucerne.


Bettina Staub is a Lucerne-based art historian and a freelance curator.

Authors & Editors
Please send a review copy.
Please send the following high resolution images:


Lion’s lockdown, Barbara Hennig Marques and Olivia Lecomte, performance “Keep distance”, 2020. © Photo: Barbara Hennig Marques and Olivia Lecomte

Lion ride, Barbara Kiener, performative intervention, 2020. © Photo: Jürg Lauber

Art interventions at the lion monument, Lilian Frei, performance “In bocca al leone – no war without women!”, 2019. © Photo: Annick Bosson

Lion Safari, exhibition view, Till Velten, setting for the lion symposium with the lions of the sculptor and menagerie owner Urs Effenschwyler (1849–1923), loan from Naturmuseum Solothurn, 2018. © Photo: Kilian Bannwart, Luzern

The dark side of the lion, exhibition view with works by Jeremias Altmann / Andreas Tanzer (front), Barbara Kiener (back) and Olga Georgieva (right), 2020. © Photo: Kilian Bannwart, Luzern

The unknown lion—farewell to a war memorial, MC (Max Christian) Graeff, performance “Lion Call”, 2017 © Photo: Michael Sutter

We are the Lion, Labor Luzern, «Lion Lab», 2019, mixed media installation, 2019. © Photo: Kilian Bannwart, Luzern

Art interventions at the lion monument, Brigitt Bürgi, performance “Lionesses manifesto”, 2019. © Photo: Annick Bosson

Click here and we will send you a complete press kit with these and further images


All images printed must come with respective picture credit and may only be published in connection with a book review containing the publishing house, the title of the book and names of editors or authors.


Zip code