With Animal New York documenting their every move, a team of guerrilla artists installed a 100-pound bust of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to a war memorial in a Brooklyn park early Monday morning.
(Update) See below for video of city officials covering the bust with a tarp.
The bronze colored bust of the controversial Snowden was attached to a pillar that is part of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument, dedicated to Revolutionary War soldiers, located in Fort Greene Park in the early dawn hours.
According to a statement by the artists who re-purposed the existing monument:
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. 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. All too often, figures who strive to uphold these ideals have been cast as criminals rather than in bronze.
The artists state that the bust stands four feet tall, and was designed to blend in with the existing memorial noting that “over a dozen people walking their dogs passed by the new bust on Monday morning without noticing the unsanctioned piece.”
How long the bust remains attached to the pillar with an industrial adhesive — to protect the existing pillar — remains to be seen. However the artists state that they have left themselves a few options should it be removed and destroyed, including creating an army of mini-Snowden heads to be displayed elsewhere.
“We have a full size mold that can be poured again and its been 3D rendered, so we have the ability to print smaller ones at scale,” they said.
The mounting of the bust came just hours after an interview with Snowden was broadcast on HBO’s Last Week Tonight, with host John Oliver.
Watch the video below, uploaded to YouTube by Animal New York:
(UPDATE): City officials have covered the Snowden bust with a tarp. Video below uploaded to Twitter by @Louiseroug:
— Louise Roug (@louiseroug) April 6, 2015