Gallery: Get Free Passes to the Controversial “Discovering Columbus” El...

"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. However, Nicholas Baume, director and chief curator of the Public Art Fund, expressed his belief that even naysayers will feel differently about the piece once they see it. "What Nishi's work is all about is drawing attention and giving access to the public to urban monuments, statues and architectural details that they wouldn't normally have access to and to present it in a new way that gives it a contemporary relevance and opens our eyes to something that is perhaps overlooked," he said.

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