CULTURE MONSTER

Edward Snowden monument unveiled, then covered up, in Brooklyn park

New York park officials cover up Edward Snowden monument that was unveiled in Fort Greene, Brooklyn park

Brooklyn hipster artists strike again?

A public monument to Edward Snowden was unveiled at a New York park early Monday only to be covered up by park officials later in the day. The work of art included a sculpted bust of the National Security Agency document leaker, according to photographs posted on blogs and news sites.

A group of unidentified artists revealed the monument at the Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn. An online video from the site Animal New York appears to show the individuals working late at night and into the morning to place the Snowden bust on top of a column.

It appears that the shrine was created on the site of an existing park structure that features a bronze eagle.  A voice on the video says the bust of Snowden was mounted in a fashion that it could be removed "without doing permanent damage to the structure."

The video says that the Snowden bust was placed on top of the park's Prison Ship Martyrs Monument, a memorial to Revolutionary War soldiers.

Park officials later covered up the bust with a blue tarp-like sheet. Some photos posted on Twitter show officials removing the covered Snowden head from the monument.

A representative for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation confirmed that the Snowden art work was taken down.

"Parks and NYPD have removed the sculpture. The erection of any unapproved structure or artwork in a city park is illegal," said Maeri Ferguson of the Parks' press office.

Snowden worked as a contractor for the NSA before he leaked a trove of classified documents that revealed extensive government cyberspying on American citizens. Currently a fugitive from U.S. officials, Snowden is believed to be in Russia, where he has been given asylum.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT     

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

Updates

6:15 p.m.: Added confirmation and quote from New York City Department of Parks and Recreation representative.

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