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Columbus Statue Vanishes As Public Art Project Takes Shape

Friday, August 31, 2012

A living room is being built around the Christopher Columbus statue as part of an art project. (Ilya Marritz/WNYC)

Standing atop a 70 foot pillar in a traffic island for over a century, the statue of Christopher Columbus at Columbus Circle has seen a lot of traffic go by. But soon the Italian explorer’s likeness will have comfier surroundings: a couch, a TV, and a coffee table.

Workers are now building a living room around Columbus, as part of a public art project. And, like many Manhattan abodes, it’s a walk-up. Visitors will have to climb six flights to be able see Columbus’s new digs.

Nail Yetim, a pedicab driver, expects it to be a big attraction with his customers, as well as a potential danger.

"Can you imagine how many drunk people in New York City will fall down?" Yetim said.

Sharonn Caldwell, who works nearby, said the scaffolding over the sculpture is already generating a lot of interest.

"People always want to know what it is. But it's cool. I always tell them, I'll invite you over as soon as they make the living room," she said.

The installation "Discovering Columbus" by Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi opens on September 20.

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Comments [3]

Kate Boccheciamp from Croton-on-Hudson, NY

A friend of mine who lives across the street from the "livingroom" says that it is a particular favorite of the homeless and displaced mentally ill. No one else will go near it. Obviously, she is not too happy about this invasion on her doorstep. The other residents in the surrounding buildings and the store owners are not happy either. Complaint have gone unheaded.... Just an injection of the realities of our city and culture...It was a nice idea though....

Oct. 02 2012 09:08 PM
Aishah Bowron from United Kingdom

Christopher Columbus is a bloody evil, brutal genocidal murderer and slave trafficker who brought death, destruction, violence and pain to the Native Americans !. He means nothing to me !. I fucking hate him

Sep. 08 2012 07:19 AM
jose da Silva from Bristol RI 02809

People should read the book "Christopher Columbus was Portuguese" by Manuel Luciano da Silva & Sílvia Jorge da Silva and also see the movie
"Christopher Columbus, the Enigma", adapted from this book by Manoel de Oliveira, which production won a Gold Medal at the International Film Festival in Venice, Italy,on September 8, 2007.
Respectfully,

José da Silva

Sep. 01 2012 06:32 AM

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