It’s only public art, Bloomberg promises - Metro US

It’s only public art, Bloomberg promises

Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks New Yorkers need to panic less and brush up on their art appreciation.

A statue at the Empire State Building is causing chaos, as terrified passers-by assume it’s someone about to take his life. After all, it’s only a life-sized statue of a man standing on the 24th floor ledge of a building that’s hosted six suicides in the past 10 years.

Despite the daily 911 calls, police say they get about the statute, building managers said they’ll only take it down on City Hall’s command. And Bloomberg says the statute stays.

“It’s a great exhibition. I’ve met the artist, he’s a very talented guy,” the mayor gushed Thursday of sculptor Antony Gormley, who has statues on buildings throughout the city. “I recommend you buy a book of his work … you’d be really impressed.”

“If this gets enough press, then people will know that it’s great art, even the New York City Police Department,” Bloomberg said.

The art installation comes only two weeks after a Yale student leapt to his death from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building on March 30.

“It’s a pain in the ass,” one cop told the New York Post. “We’re short cops to begin with and we don’t have enough cops to waste answering calls of statues committing suicide.”

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