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Anti-‘America’: Locals don’t want statue ‘advertising’ Cap in Prospect Park

Anti-‘America’: Locals don’t want statue ‘advertising’ Cap in Prospect Park
Brooklyn bound: Marvel’s Captain America statue has some Propsect Park patrons crying foul over what they see as a marketing gimmick invading their beloved green space.
Marvel

Avengers assemble … elsewhere.

A 13-foot bronze statue depicting Disney-owned superhero Captain America coming to Prospect Park next month is little more than free advertising for a multi-billion-dollar film and comic franchise that doesn’t belong in the borough’s sacred public green space, say disgruntled park-goers.

“I feel terrible about it,” said 65-year-old Park Sloper Annie Ellman. “This park is one of very few places that really are natural. I would hate to see it filled it up with companies’ statues.”

Borough President Adams said he was “thrilled” earlier this month when announcing a deal he’d brokered with Marvel to install the statue of Steve Rogers’s super-powered alter ego somewhere in Brooklyn’s Backyard — probably near the carousel on the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens side of the park, sources say — for two weeks starting on Aug. 10, in honor of the character’s 75th anniversary.

The comic-book character was originally from Manhattan, but was reimagined as a Brooklyn native for the recent film series.

City rules forbid advertising in public parks, but the effigy’s presence is being considered a “special event” by the city, according to a spokesman for the Parks Department.

It’s hardly the first time logos have made their way into the park — marathons, festivals, and fund-raising events often mount sponsors’ banners for the day.

But nature lovers aren’t buying it this time, and say that no matter what the city calls it, a one-ton statue of a movie-franchise mascot — whose adventures have been the focus of multiple box-office hits in recent years, beginning with the 2011 blockbuster “Captain America: The First Avenger” and this year’s “Captain America: Civil War,” which has grossed more than a billion dollars in ticket sales — is a marketing gimmick.

“Obviously it’s advertising,” said Windsor Terrace resident Hans Kliss. “Disney is making money off of it. It’s marketing.”

Not everyone is opposed to utilizing public green space for the ploy — so long as it helps fund park maintenance.

“If it’s a way of making money to keep the parks beautiful — like cleaning up nonsense people don’t clean up themselves — it could be a necessary evil,” said Fort Greene resident Evan Tasch.

But the city, Borough Hall, and the Prospect Park Alliance — which maintains the grounds — all say they aren’t making a dime off the effigy beyond a standard event permit fee.

The Beep declined to comment on the commercial nature of the Cap carving, but said it would be a boon for the borough, by bringing big crowds and their cash to the area.

“The interest in Captain America from far and wide has the potential to produce a local tourism boost,” said Adams.

But nature lovers say he should have found a different home for the statue — one that won’t clash with Mother Nature.

“Why bring something so artificial to the natural setting of a park?” said Sheepshead Bay resident Philip Sainvile, an avid Prospect Park goer. “It’s not the place for Captain America. Do it elsewhere.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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