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Lamp Bear – Hamad International Airport, Qatar

If you’re traveling to Qatar or transiting through Hamad International Airport, chances are you’ll catch a view of a big, cuddle teddy bear with a lamp over its head… appropriately named Lamp Bear.

Its more formal name is “Untitled (Lamp/Bear)” and was conceived by artist Urs Fischer. A blue version of Lamp Bear was on display at Brown University’s campus for 5 years, described as a “nostalgic and larger-than-life presence.” On 11 May 2011, Lamp Bear was sold for $6,802,500 at art-auctioneer Christie’s.

While Lamp Bear likely grabs people’s attention at Hamad International Airport because of its unique look, there’s a lot of symbolic representation going on. Rather than being constructed out of soft material (as toy bears usually are), the piece is made of bronze, reflecting the value the owner often places on their toy bear. The solidity of the piece, weighing up to 17 tons, represents the enduring nature and permanence of one’s sentimentality towards their toy bear. And the lamp? A teddy bear lightens up the life of the owner, and it’s just a random object that one doesn’t expect to be placed alongside an art piece of a bear; one of Fischer’s predilections.

The Lamp Bear image shown above was taken during the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

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