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“Le Pouce” by French sculptor César Baldaccini represents the “symbol” of hitchhiking. The Thumb is a bronze sculpture based on a life-size cast of the artist’s thumb.

Designed in 1965, this sculpture weighs 18 tonnes and has a height of 12 metres. One of the three creations was purchased by a collector for US $1,745 million. The second one is at the Defense Quarter of Paris. The third one is in Marseilles, on the avenue de Hambourg.

César Baladaccini (1921-1998): César was born in Marseilles, where he studied art before going on to study in Paris from 1943 to 1948. His early work used soldered and welded metal as well as junk materials, and by 1960 César was considered one of France’s leading sculptors. In that year he astonished his followers by showing three crushed cars at a Paris exhibition. It was for these ‘Compressions’ that César became renowned. Like Arman and Jean Tinguely, César was part of the French New Realism movement which found its inspiration in urban life.

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