Head games! Snowden bust artists demand statue back

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Let our plaster go!

The Police Department must release the bust of refugee whistle-blower Edward Snowden that it removed from Fort Green Park and locked down in the bowels of the 88th Precinct station house, a lawyer for the anonymous artists that created the piece demanded on Tuesday.

Cops and Parks workers seized the 100-pound bust on April 6, just hours after artists snuck into the park under the cover of darkness and, against the rules of the Parks Department, affixed it to column that makes up part of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument.

Kuby is now petitioning the police to let the statue out on bail, and the artists hope to go through the proper channels to get the bust installed in a park. The artists put months of work into the statue with the intention of sparking a conversation about Snowden’s leaks and issues of privacy and freedom, not to let the bust molder in a basement, they said.

“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,” said Ron Kuby at a press conference in Fort Greene Park on Tuesday morning. “You don’t get to keep it just because you want to and because you’re the NYPD.”

The artists have remained anonymous to avoid prosecution for their stunt, however Kuby said the only crime they are guilty of is entering the park when it was closed, a misdemeanor. In a letter to Police Commissioner William Bratton, the lawyer argued that by detaining the bust indefinitely, police are holding a piece of private property and ignoring due process.

“The sculpture itself has no evidentiary value in proving the Class B misdemeanor of trespass that may be alleged against the artists for being in the park after closing hours,” he wrote. “Therefore, there appears to be no basis for the NYPD to continue to possess this sculpture.”

And the artists say once they get the bust back, they’ll only keep it temporarily.

“It was always meant to be a gift to the city and, in turn, the public,” the artists said in a statement. “We hope New York City will release the statue so it may continue to spark healthy conversation about issues central to our freedom.”

A police representative of the declined to specify what charges the artists might face, and would not comment beyond confirming that police are investigating the stunt.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

ty from pps says:
the parks dept gave it asylum,
April 15, 2015, 5:28 am
Peter Engel from Downtown Brooklyn says:
I'm all for free expression and enjoyed this. Still, I don't blame the cops. If they brought Kuby into it, this is just grandstanding. Artists need to show themselves.
April 15, 2015, 11:33 am
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
Seems to me that they'll have a hard time proving they own it without coming forward, and thus facing actual charges. Otherwise, the city could probably claim the statue as abandoned property after a time, and then melt it down for the metal value.

Two choices: incriminate themselves and possibly get their statue back, or stay anonymous and write off the cost of the statue.
April 15, 2015, 12:48 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Nothing to melt - it's plasterish stuff.
April 15, 2015, 2:36 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
Thanks Rufus. I thought I read elsewhere that it was metal-plated.
April 15, 2015, 3:35 pm
ty from pps says:
Wait... Did Rufus just make a positive contribution to the comments?
April 15, 2015, 8 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
There is no way the city would allow a statute of Mr. Snowden to be displayed in the park. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with his actions, he is charged with espionage, he is on the run from the law, and he is hiding in Russia, one of our global adversaries. A person is generally not considered a patriot under these circumstances. Further, we don't celebrate and revere cowards, no offense.
April 16, 2015, 10:06 am
Pauline from Bushwick says:
Hopefully nobody "reveres" these cowards either.

George Walker Bush
43rd President of the United States. Accused draft dodger who was suspended from the National Guard. Started a war in Iraq which killed many thousands of Iraq civilians and US troops, in part by using tough rhetoric such as "Bring it on!" When the mother of one of the fallen troops came to confront him, he hid from her in his ranch.

Richard B. Cheney
Former VP of the United States (see above)
Draft dodger who mysteriously received 5 deferments to avoid service in the Vietnam War. Likes to hide in bunkers when not putting buckshot in the faces of buddies.

Mitt Romney
Presidential candidate and draft dodger. Multiple deferments for Mormon missionary work.

Anybody see a pattern here?
April 16, 2015, 11:34 am
Poots from Brooklyn says:
It's getting to the point that the difference between poor & good judgment, right and wrong & being a d-bag and a patriot is labeling it as "art".
April 19, 2015, 5:35 pm

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