New York residents awoke to find a mysterious new monument erected in a Brooklyn park on Monday morning, after a group of anonymous artists illegally installed a 100-pound bust of whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Move over, Banksy. Just before dawn, three artists lugged a 4-foot bust through Fort Greene Park. As the sun rose, they mounted the statue atop a pillar which was part of a Revolutionary War memorial.
"Fort Greene's Prison Ship Martyrs Monument is a memorial to American POWs who lost their lives during the Revolutionary War," the artists told Animal Magazine. "We have updated this monument to highlight those who sacrifice their safety in the fight against modern-day tyrannies."
Far from a desecration, the artists see their installment as a way to honor the freedoms which were fought for during the American Revolution."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," they said.
The project cost thousands of dollars, which was paid out of pocket, and took six months to create. And despite this level of effort, the artists have resigned themselves to the fact that their creation will likely be destroyed by the authorities.
The statue was quickly covered by police, and then removed on Monday afternoon.
"We have a full size mold that can be poured again and it's been 3D rendered, so we have the ability to print smaller ones at scale," they said.
During his time as defense contractor for the National Security Agency, Edward Snowden unveiled the massive extent of the government's domestic spying apparatus. He currently resides in Russia to avoid US extradition.