‘Trump Tomb­stone’ on dis­play af­ter po­lice con­fis­cate it

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES - By Ver­ena Dob­nik

A gran­ite tomb­stone bear­ing the name Don­ald J. Trump that po­lice con­fis­cated in Cen­tral Park months ago is now on dis­play at a Brook­lyn gallery.

The year of Trump’s birth and the words “Made Amer­ica Hate Again” also are chis­eled into the 500-pound slab.

Artist Brian An­drew White­ley said he cre­ated it to re­mind the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee that he has “stirred the pot of racism, anger and fear and to help Don­ald re­flect on the legacy he’s leav­ing be­hind.”

Dubbed “The Trump Tomb­stone,” it first ap­peared last spring in Cen­tral Park’s Sheep Meadow.

At about 4 a.m., “my ac­com­plices met me there, and we sneaked in by clip­ping off the metal twist-ties on a gate,” White­ley re­called on Satur­day. “Then we rolled in the tomb­stone and just plopped it on the ground.”

Af­ter dawn, the sen­sa­tion drew crowds snap­ping pic­tures as po­lice moved in.

Po­lice held the stone for months while track­ing down White­ley by vis­it­ing var­i­ous New York tomb­stone busi­nesses.

Then came the vis­its to his home from the New York Po­lice Depart­ment and the Se­cret Ser­vice, who in­ter­ro­gated him “to make sure I wasn’t men­tally ill,” he said.

With the hate mail he re­ceived from right-wing publi­ca­tions, “I was ter­ri­fied,” he said.

With the help of at­tor­ney Ron Kuby, who pushed authorities to re­lease White­ley’s work, the artist ended up pay­ing a $300 fine for lit­ter­ing in Cen­tral Park.

This week­end, the tomb­stone reap­peared in the Christo­pher Stout Gallery in Brook­lyn’s Bush­wick neigh­bor­hood, where it’s on dis­play through Oct. 9. Then it will be moved to a gallery in Man­hat­tan’s Chelsea neigh­bor­hood.

It’s “very Trumpian,” said White­ley, who con­tends that the can­di­date “is an ego­ma­niac who loves putting his name on stuff — even a tomb­stone.”

BRIAN AN­DREW WEITELEY VIA AP

This photo pro­vided by Brian An­drew White­ley shows his sculp­ture, “The Trump Tomb­stone” bear­ing the name of Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump, dis­played in a gallery in New York on Satur­day.

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