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Thursday, 23rd August 2012
In Japan Entertainment News,

Nagoya-born artist offers new view of Columbus

An artist born in Nagoya in 1960 is giving tourists and New Yorkers-alike a new take on the iconic statue of Christopher Columbus.

Located in the heart of Columbus Circus, New York, Tatzu Nishi is offering visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gaze at the monument from a homely-setting six storeys above ground level.

The projected is being supported by the Public Art Fund and will see audiences climb the stairs to a living room kitted out with chairs and tables for their comfort.

Lofty-style windows will enable viewers to look out at the statue, as well as oversee Central Park from the same eye level as the piece.

The exhibition will run from September 20th to November 18th and promises visitors a unique peek at the magnitude of New York.

"This fall, New York City will rediscover Christopher Columbus in a new and exciting way, thanks to the creativity of Tatzu Nishi," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. 

However, there has been opposition from some Italian-Americans who feel Nishi's work erodes the significance of the statue.

Rosario Iaconis, chairman of the Italic Institute of America, expressed his displeasure to the Associated Press.

"Encasing this majestic statue in a cocoon of conceptual art demeans the community and trivialises history," he said.

According to the Public Art Fund, this is the only opposition it has received against the exhibition, having had no negative responses from either the National Italian American Foundation or the Italian counsel general.

Nishi counts among his previous displays 'Villa Victoria', which provided a temporary functional hotel around a statue of Queen Victoria during the 2002 Liverpool Biennial.

Public Art Fund director and chief curator Nicholas Baume commended the Japanese artist for giving "Columbus an apartment of his own" that throws "an open house to which all of New York City is invited".

Posted by Susan Ballion