The iconic statue that stands above Columbus Circle is now surrounded by a fully furnished living room.
For the first time, New Yorkers can come face to face with the iconic Christopher Columbus statue in midtown Manhattan.
The statue that stands above Columbus Circle now has its own apartment -- albeit one that is open to the public. Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi temporarily built a living room around the 13-foot statue, six stories above the street. Columbus now stands on top of a coffee table, surrounded by a couch, a TV, and a bookshelf.
But some opponents say the free exhibit that runs through November 18th is offensive. The Italic Institute of America says the exhibit mocks the explorer. But, Mayor Bloomberg says the project will help conserve the statue and teach visitors.
“Art should be seen and this is a chance to see it. It would not have been available to anybody to see during the restoration period," Bloomberg said. "It’s going to give a new understanding of who Christopher Columbus was and it’ll get people to think about what he did 500 years ago."
The Christopher Columbus Monument was unveiled in 1892. It was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas.
Check out the images from the new exhibit below!