NEW YORK (AP) - In a story Aug. 22 about a New York art exhibition at a statue of Christopher Columbus, The Associated Press attributed to the wrong person comments asserting that various Italian-American groups “didn’t look very carefully at the fine print, which is it makes a mockery of `The Admiral of the Ocean Sea.’ 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. It’s buffoonery masquerading as art.” The comments should have been attributed to Rosario Iaconis, chairman of the Italic Institute of America, instead of John Mancini, the group’s executive director.
A corrected version of the story is below:
NYC Columbus statue enveloped by living room
Artist erects living room high above NYC street, around iconic Christopher Columbus monument
By ULA ILNYTZKY
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ A Japanese artist is inviting the public to have an intimate view of Christopher Columbus high above a hectic intersection in midtown Manhattan.
Tatzu Nishi is constructing a contemporary living room on top of the Columbus Monument in Columbus Circle, where a 13-foot statue of Columbus is perched on a six-story column in the middle of a plaza where five busy streets intersect.
Some Italian-Americans say the art project makes a mockery of the great explorer and trivializes history.
“Discovering Columbus,” commissioned by the nonprofit Public Art Fund, is a free exhibition that will run from Sept. 20 to Nov. 18.
Nishi has encased the 70-foot-tall column in scaffolding and is in the process of erecting the living room _ complete with couch, coffee table and lamps _ around the figure of Columbus.
Visitors will climb stairs to reach the living room, where they will have a bird’s-eye view of the city and Central Park. An elevator will be available for those who can’t climb the stairs.
“Encasing this majestic statue in a cocoon of conceptual art demeans the community and trivializes history,” said Rosario Iaconis, chairman of the Italic Institute of America, an education think tank that represents about 1,000 Italians nationwide.
The fund said it received no objections to the art installation from other Italian groups, including the Columbus Citizens Foundation, a 600-member organization that sponsors the annual New York City Columbus Day Parade; the 50,000-member National Italian American Foundation in Washington, D.C.; and the Italian counsel general in New York.
But Iaconis said those groups “didn’t look very carefully at the fine print, which is it makes a mockery of `The Admiral of the Ocean Sea.’”