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The Edward Snowden bust in Fort Greene Park (photo by Sally Thurer/Instagram)

In the wee hours of Monday morning, three artists and a team of helpers illegally installed a bust of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park. The faux-bronze bust, designed to blend in seamlessly with the adjacent Prison Ship Martyrs Monument to soldiers of the Revolutionary War, was placed atop a previously empty plinth, with Snowden’s last name affixed beneath the bronze eagle at the column’s base.

“If this thing gets taken down right away we’ll certainly be disappointed, but we think it’ll be worth it thanks to the internet,” one of the artists told Animal, which filmed the pre-dawn installation. “The fact that a risk was taken, the fact that an image comes out of that event that can be passed around can never be undone. So you can rip the statue out, but you can’t erase the fact that it happened and that people are sharing it.”

This is not New York City’s first Snowden monument. A life-size sculpture of the former CIA worker and NSA contractor by artist Jim Dessicino was installed in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District as part of last year’s Art in Odd Places public art festival.

By mid-day on Monday the New York City Parks Department had covered Fort Greene Park’s Snowden monument and removed it, but not before it was photographed, tweeted, and shared far and wide.

Park-goers photographing the bust of Edward Snowden in Fort Greene Park (photo by Jon Pack/Flickr)

Employees of the New York City Parks Department removing the Edward Snowden bust from its plinth (photo by Marco Franco/Instagram)

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Benjamin Sutton

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...

10 replies on “Renegade Edward Snowden Monument Erected (and Quickly Removed) in Brooklyn Park”

    1. It is getting creepier and creepier in this police state called America. I barely recognize this country any more :(…

  1. Yes it does make the U.S look like totalitarian regime. The irony is that the destruction of monuments , iconoclasm ,and bringing down statutes Sadam, Lenin, Ceusecu et al , symbolizes freedom rather than repression. It would be great if this were bronze or even better a few tons of cast concrete .

  2. Why does your headline label Snowden as a renegade? Whistleblower is the usual term, but I think “People’s Hero” would be more appropriate.

  3. This art action is a great social statement. Related: If you haven’t already seen it, check out the John Oliver interview of Edward Snowden. Fascinating on so many levels!

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