Gnome lawn ornaments are considered a bit kitschy in the US. In Switzerland, garden gnomes are everywhere. Known as “Zwergli” in German, they seem practically mandatory. I’m exaggerating, but only just a bit.
Plastic or cement, big or little, these have seen these gnome statues come in all shapes and sizes. They are usually in yards or gardens, but we have also seen them on porches, railings, stoops, on stumps and even on pedestals.
We see them out all year long. It’s a wonder that they don’t disappear. It’s Switzerland, so there isn’t too much crime, but they look tempting. Wouldn’t it be so much fun to take the gnome and photograph it in crazy places just like in the movie Amalie. In 2000, the International Association for the Protection of Garden Gnomes was founded in Switzerland (GGLF) was formed in Switzerland to combat gnome kidnapping and try to make it a criminal offense. Apparently, a few people have even been prosecuted for theft. I’m not kidding.
Instead of kidnapping them, The Garden Gnome Liberation Front advocates freeing the gnomes. If you don’t believe me, just check out http://www.freethegnomes.com. I couldn’t make this stuff up.
It would be great to dress them up in special outfits for different events, kind od like Mannekin Pis in Brussels. Who doesn’t want to dress their gnome up in a team uniform for game day? On second thought, the Garden Gnome Liberation Front might think it was exploiting them and protest.
Switzerland has a trail with gnome trail markers in Gänsbrunnen. Children who complete it receive a very child receives a “Nature and Gnomes Certificate.” Do big children count?