There's always room at the top, never as true as in the case of the “man who discovered America”. Christopher Columbus is due to “move” to a brand-new living room currently being constructed on top of the Columbus Monument.
“The Admiral of the Ocean Sea” will be provided with a bed, a coffee table and even a couple of lamps designed to make him feel cozy in New York.
The 21-meter statue in the heart of Columbus Circle is currently covered in scaffolding. Not everybody is happy about Columbus finally improving his living conditions, though.
Some Italian-Americans say the art project, masterminded and created in midtown Manhattan by prominent Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi, makes a mockery of the legendary explorer.
"Its buffoonery masquerading as art," John Mancini, executive director of the Italic Institute of America that represents about 1,000 Italians nationwide, is quoted as saying.
"If the artist had attempted to stage a living room set around the Lincoln Memorial or the Martin Luther King memorial … sensitivities would have been aroused," he told The Associate Press.
Visitors can climb stairs to check out Christopher’s room and enjoy a bird's-eye view of the city. An elevator will be available for those who can't climb the stairs.
Commissioned by the Public Art Fund, "Discovering Columbus" is a free exhibition that will run from September 20 to November 18.
It’s Nishi's first public art project in the United States. He is known worldwide for revamping historical landmarks by surrounding them with domestic spaces. Among his signature works is a room created around the angelic sculpture on the roof of Basel Cathedral in Switzerland.