Swiss Alps giant image

"Un nouveau souffle" land art painting by french artist SAYPE is seen during at the Moleson summit near Gruyeres, Switzerland, on 25th August. PICTURE: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

• A French graffiti artist has created a 1,500 square metre painting called Un nouveau souffle (A New Lease on Life), on the summit of the Moleson peak in the western Swiss Alps. The work, by French artist Saype, uses biodegradable paints made from natural pigments such as coal and chalk, and depicts a little boy blowing bubbles. "I think we are in a world that is super heavy and we need a little lightness and I believe that the clouds are also a bit of a dream, the imagination," he told Reuters. "When we were kids we were always imagining shapes in the clouds. And I believe that now is also a moment we must breathe and - also with lightness - relearn to create by reverie the world of tomorrow." Known for massive works of graffiti on grass best seen from the air, Saype has also adorned sites ranging from an impoverished shantytown in South Africa to the lawn in front of the United Nations' European headquarters in Geneva.

• Hundreds of redheads from around the world gathered at a festival in the southern Dutch town of Tilburg on Sunday. The annual "Redhead Days" event, which was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, brought visitors from countries including Britain, Germany, Hungary and the United States to a series of meet-and-greet events and activities including a life drawing class. Organisers say attendance at the three-day festival, held in the Netherlands since 2005, was sharply down on previous years, with activities including lectures and a bar crawl scrapped due to COVID-19 restrictions. But some participants said they still felt a connection to others.

• A group of eight Ukrainian strongman athletes set a national record last week by pulling the world's largest and heaviest cargo plane.  "It is a unique occasion because it is the largest and the heaviest airplane in the world - Mriya," said strongman athlete Oleksandr Lashyn. "It is an airplane made in Ukraine. And we, Ukrainian strongman athletes, managed to pull it and make it move for over four meters. I believe this record is worth being in the Guinness record book." Mriya was built in the Soviet Union in 1988 to transport Soviet Buran space shuttles or other heavy cargos. The eight athletes managed to move the Antonov AN-225 plane, known as Mriya for 14 feet within one minute, 13 seconds.

Switzerland cow transportation

A cow is transported by a helicopter from its summer sojourn in the high Swiss Alpine meadows near the Klausenpass, Switzerland, on 27th August. PICTURE: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

 Back to the Swiss Alps and a dozen injured cows had the ride of their life in Switzerland recently. The cows, which had been injured during their summer sojourn in the high Swiss Alpine meadows were given a helicopter ride down the mountain last week. A dozen beasts got the lift to land near the Klausenpass mountain pass, around 1,950 metres above sea level. The rest of the 1,000-strong herd was due to head down last weekend to the Urnerboden area in the central canton of Uri in the annual bovine parade.

- With Reuters, including ARND WIEGMANN and DENIS BALIBOUSE.