Artists de­mand NYC po­lice re­turn Ed­ward Snow­den bust

The China Post - - ARTS -

Three artists on Tues­day de­manded that New York po­lice re­turn a bust of fugi­tive U.S. whistle­blower Ed­ward Snow­den to public dis­play or threat­ened legal ac­tion.

Civil rights lawyer Ron­ald Kuby said the artists would re­main anony­mous be­cause they feared ar­rest and pros­e­cu­tion af­ter au­thor­i­ties re­moved the sculp­ture from a Brook­lyn park last week.

“We hope New York City will re­lease the statue so it may con­tinue to spark healthy con­ver­sa­tions about is­sues cen­tral to our free­doms,” the artists said in a writ­ten state­ment.

They erected the 100-pound (45-kilo­gram) bust at an Amer­i­can Revo­lu­tion war me­mo­rial in Fort Greene park shortly be­fore dawn on April 6, but within hours it was con­fis­cated by po­lice.

At a news con­fer­ence on the spot where the bust was im­pounded, Kuby de­scribed the sculp­ture as a “valu­able and well-crafted piece of art” that took six months to cre­ate.

“It is some­what ironic that as Ed­ward Snow­den is in ex­ile in Rus­sia his statue is be­ing held hostage in the base­ment of a po­lice precinct in New York City,” Kuby said.

“What­ever the right of the parks depart­ment to re­move an unau­tho­rized sculp­ture, that does not trans­late into the right of the po­lice to in­def­i­nitely de­tain a work of art,” he added.

A Man­hat­tan gallery wants to put it on dis­play next month as part of an ex­hi­bi­tion on sur­veil­lance and pri­vacy, Kuby said, threat­en­ing to pre­pare lit­i­ga­tion if po­lice do not re­spond.

A New York po­lice spokes­woman told AFP that the statue was erected with­out per­mis­sion and is be­ing stored as ev­i­dence. “All prop­erty that is con­fis­cated for in­ves­ti­ga­tory pur­poses may be re­turned to the right­ful owner af­ter the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is com­pleted,” said deputy chief Kim Roys­ter in an email.

Ge­of­frey Croft from the NYC Park Ad­vo­cates watch­dog called for the statue to be ex­hib­ited in a public park as part of pro­gram that has put hun­dreds of works of art tem­po­rar­ily on dis­play.

“Art and the free­dom to ex­press our­selves are the cor­ner­stones of our so­ci­ety and they must be pro­tected,” Croft told re­porters.

AP

This photo pro­vided by Ay­mann Is­mail/ANIMALNewYork on April 6, 2015, shows an in­stal­la­tion of a bust of the for­mer Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency con­trac­tor Ed­ward Snow­den in Brook­lyn’s Fort Greene Park, in New York.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.