News & Politics

Rooftop Statues Lead to Jokes About People Jumping to Their Deaths


Sculptor Antony Gormley has brought his successful London installation Event Horizon to New York. 31 statues of male figures are standing on the ground and on rooftops from the Flatiron District to the Empire State Building.

It’s the rooftop statues that are getting the attention, though: In a rare bit of synergy, NYPD is publicizing their presence by informing the public that the statues are not jumpers whose distress needs to be called in, says the Associated Press.

The press gets in on the fun. “A Flatiron Statue Startles Passersby,” says WPIX. “It’s freaking some people out!” “Does it look like a man trying to jump off this building?” says the reporter on the scene. She asks people to look up! “It looks like a guy,” says Passerby. (He thought it was a mime.) Another Passerby enthuses over public sculpture in general. Reporter asks a third Passerby if he was scared for a moment. “No,” he says. “Yeah,” says reporter on the scene, “I think he was little worried.” His eyes did widen, so maybe he’s the Startled Passerby.

Don’t jump…! to conclusions,” laffs the Post. You know what’s coming: Eventually some guy will actually jump from one of the buildings in the area, and everyone will be asking if Gormley made him do it, has public art gone too far, why are we wasting our money on, etc. The Times already has found one spoilsport (he thinks “it’s in poor taste” because of 9/11) who will later be hailed as a prophet.


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