TORONTO -- The Swiss mountain resort town of Zermatt sent a message of hope and unity to the world by illuminating the flags of countries hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, including Canada, on the iconic Matterhorn peak.

On Saturday night, the Zermatt government projected an image of Canada’s red and white maple leaf flag onto the face of the famous pyramidal peak in a show of solidarity.

“We share our hope with Canada!” read a Facebook post on Switzerland’s tourism page.

The illumination of the Canadian flag on the mountain was part of a wider project by the Zermatt government that saw various images projected onto the landmark every evening for five weeks.

Entitled “Light is Hope,” the initiative included projections of the words “solidarity” and “thanks,” as well as images of national flags, cantonal coats of arms, and other symbols, such as a heart and the globe. Other countries that had images of their flags projected onto the mountain included, Italy, Iran, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, and Pakistan.

From March 24 to April 26, the Matterhorn was illuminated with a total of 80 images, according to Zermatt.

“The aim of the campaign was to give people around the world a sign of hope in times of the coronavirus crisis, to show solidarity with those affected, and express gratitude to people who are helping to overcome the crisis,” the town’s tourism department wrote on its website.

Towering at 4,478 metres, the Matterhorn is considered one of the tallest mountains in Europe and is a popular destination for travellers yearning to glimpse the unique rock “tooth” that adorns its peak. The Zermatt government said they hoped the lighting initiative would inspire people as well as promote tourism to the area once the pandemic is over.

“The light on the Matterhorn has now gone out. However, should the crisis rise against all expectations, the sign of hope will also light up again,” the Zermatt website states.