New York City Parks workers have covered up a statue of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden that was secretly installed overnight. The 100-lb bust was erected in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park, atop the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument.
The 4-foot tall Snowden bust was fused to the monument overnight on Monday by a trio of anonymous artists and a few helpers, Animal New York reported. They renamed the tribute ‘Prison Ship Martyrs Monument 2.0’.
“Fort Greene’s Prison Ship Martyrs Monument is a memorial to American POWs who lost their lives during the Revolutionary War. We have updated this monument to highlight those who sacrifice their safety in the fight against modern-day tyrannies,” the group wrote in a statement. “It would be a dishonor to those memorialized here to not laud those who protect the ideals they fought for, as Edward Snowden has by bringing the NSA’s 4th-Amendment-violating surveillance programs to light.
“Our goal is to bring a renewed vitality to the space and prompt even more visitors to ponder the sacrifices made for their freedoms. We hope this inspires them to reflect upon the responsibility we all bear to ensure our liberties exist long into the future.”
Most passersby didn’t notice Snowden’s head atop one of the four columns that lie at the monument’s edge, Bucky Turco, who exclusively documented the installation, reported.
The artists told Turco that they debated how to bind the bust to its base, eventually deciding on an adhesive that would firmly hold the head in place, yet could be removed without damaging Martyrs Monument ‘1.0’.
The idea for the sculpture was conceived about a year ago by two New York City-based artists with a history of pulling off notable public interventions.
“There’s a media landscape that has painted him as a criminal,” said one of the two New York artists. “You need something theatrical and large to counterbalance the Fox News-iness of the texture of the conversation out there.”