Monday, April 6, 2015

The Great Cover-Up As Parks' Quickly Removes Bust Of Edward Snowden In Fort Greene Park

A 4-feet tall bust of Edward Snowden was exhibited for a few hours this morning before Parks Department workers covered it up with a blue tarp. (Below) The artists also added letters spelling out Snowden’s name in an official-looking font befitting of a monument beneath the eagle.  By 1:15 the bust had been removed. (Photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)

(Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge


By Geoffrey Croft

The Parks Department  quickly removed a bust of Edward Snowden that was erected early this morning in Fort Greene Park.

Parks workers went to great lengths to keep the illicit likeness covered up while they removed it, at one point four workers helped keep it under wraps.

The 100-pound bust  of NSA whistleblower was erected just before dawn near the park's Prison Ship Martyrs Monument on one of the three empty pedestals that face the Revolutionary War monument.  

(Photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)

At one point four parks workers were helping to cover it up so that the media could not get a look at it while they prepared to remove it.   (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge

By 1:15pm it had been removed and driven away on top of a Parks Department vehicle.

Several onlookers complained of censorship while the workers removed it. 

More than a  dozen police officers and detectives watched while it was taken down.

The installation was first reported by a website called ANIMAL, an internet site devoted to art,  news and culture which posted a video of the group installing it. 

 The event attracted a fair amount of media attention.

According to the site, it took over six months to sculpt, mold, cast and ship to New York from the West Coast artist. 

"Measuring 4-feet tall, Snowden’s head was placed atop one of the four columns that lie at the monument’s edge, above the eagles. The bust is made of hydrocal, a high quality sculpting material," Animal reported.

"Seeing it up close, you could never tell that you were looking at a plaster-like substance. In fact, over a dozen people walking their dogs passed by the new bust on Monday morning without noticing the unsanctioned piece. Both the color and design of the bust expertly matches the existing sculptures there, from its bronze patina finish to Snowden’s hair — which mimics the texture of the feather on the eagle. The artists also added letters spelling out Snowden’s name in an official-looking font befitting of a monument."

 A Parks Department worker grabs the bust.

Park workers begin to slide it off the pedestal, being extremely careful not to reveal any of the work to the public.

Park workers move the bust from the pedestal onto the roof of the Parks Department vehicle.

 Workers secure the work on the roof of the truck.

The bottom of the bust is slightly uncovered as the parks worker ties up the work to the roof of the truck.

 Work being done under the watchful eye of the police.

According to the report the artists were mindful of not damaging the existing monument. 

"While it was very important that the piece be more than just a prop or paper mache effigy, the artists didn’t want to damage the surface that the bust would be bound to, either. After some debate, they decided on an adhesive that would firmly hold the head in place, yet could be removed without marring the monument."

Snowdon was the subject  of a 2014 documentary called Citizenfour that won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2015 Oscars.

Back to Normal.

(Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) 

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gothamist - April 6, 2015 - By Lauren Evans 

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