But is it art?

2010-04-17 09:20

Frantic 911 callers have been flooding New York police lines after seeing what appeared to be a person perched on an elevated ledge of the Empire State Building preparing to jump.

But the nightmare scenario turned out to be false, with police realising upon rushing to the scene that they were dealing with a lifeless cast-iron statue and not a suicide attempt, the New York Post reported this week.

The life-size sculpture is among 31 statues of realistic looking men by British artist Antony Gormley installed on dangerous roofs and ledges of the city’s most famous buildings early last month.

Four of them were placed street-side, including one on Fifth Avenue.

One police officer said: “It’s a pain in the ass” about the “Even Horizon” art installation. “It’s a waste of manpower. We’re short cops to begin with and we don’t have enough cops to waste answering calls of statues committing suicide.”

Police have been informed of the art project, which is also supported by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Passersby and police may have reason to be worried: since it opened in 1931, 34 people have jumped from the observation deck of the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, the tallest skyscraper in Manhattan.

The metal man on the building’s ledge was present when a Yale University student became the latest to jump to his death on March 30. – Sapa-AFP

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