The Needle, Thread and Knot Sculpture

This colorful and highly original sculpture is literally sticking out of Piazzale Cadorna, the square in front of the Cadorna Train Station, named after WWII general and senator, Luigi Cadorna.
The eccentric sculpture was created by Swedish sculptor Claes Oldenburg and his wife Coosje van Bruggen and inaugurated in 2000. It is 18 meters long and is made of steel and fiberglass. The idea consists of a needle with multicolored thread penetrating the ground on one side and on the other, just several meters away, a knot made of the same thread sticking out of the ground. The thread is red-yellow-green, representing the three Milanese subway lines (although the Cadorna Subway Stop has only two lines, the red and the green). The shape of the needle and thread also alludes to the symbol of the Duchy of Milan, the spiraling Biscione, or viper. It was the emblem on the Visconti family's coat of arms and continued being the city's insignia after the family lost their power.
But the sculpture's main objective was to pay homage to Milan as one of the greatest international fashion capitals. In fact, along with other Italian Renaissance hubs such as Florence, Venice, Rome and Genoa, Milan is considered one of the oldest fashion centers in the world. Today Milan competes with London, Paris and New York, however, when one thinks of fashion - fashion as art, lifestyle and practical attire - no city can compare with the creativity of the Italian designers based in Milan.
In Milan there are over 12,000 fashion companies, 850 showrooms, 6,000 retailers and an annual turnover on exports of almost 4.5 billion euros, which is 9 percent of the total national turnover. There are also 14 fashion schools with more than 6,000 enrolled students diligently studying, and restlessly hoping, to become the next Armanis and Versaces. Twice a year, February-March and September-October, fashion experts and fashion victims alike go into raptures during the famous Milan Fashion Week. All the major Italian designers have their headquarters in Milan: Armani, Versace, Valentino, Dolce and Gabbana, Prada, Tussardi, Missoni, Moschino, Miu Miu, Fratelli Rossetti and others. The Needle, Thread and Knot sculpture may not be as visible, grand and important as the other historical monuments and tourist attractions, but when tourists come to Milan, even though the first place they will go is to the Duomo or La Scala or the Sforza Castle, the first thing they will be thinking about is where to buy a trendy blouse, tie or a pair of slacks.