April 8, 2015 2:12 am
Updated: April 8, 2015 3:53 am

Artists create Edward Snowden hologram after statue removed from Brooklyn park

After a statue of Edward Snowden was removed from a Brooklyn park, an artist collective re-created the statue using light.

The Illuminator Art Collective

It’s safe to say Edward Snowden is a polarizing figure. Some see the NSA whistleblower as a traitor to his country, others literally want to build a monument in his honour.

A collective of anonymous artists installed a statue of Snowden, who famously released extensive documentation about NSA surveillance programs in 2013, at the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Brooklyn, New York on Monday.

Dubbing the project Prison Ship Martyrs 2.0, they surreptitiously installed a 1.2-metre tall bust of Snowden atop a column. The word “Snowden” was placed at the base of the column.

Some would no doubt disapprove of anyone altering a war memorial, but the group defended their actions in a statement, saying:

“It would be a dishonour to those memorialized here to not laud those who protect the ideals they fought for, as Edward Snowden has by bringing the NSA’s 4th-Amendment-violating surveillance programs to light.”

Police quickly covered the statue with a tarp and then took it down.

A group of artists on Monday installed a bust of fugitive US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden on a war memorial in a New York park, though authorities quickly removed the illicit statue.  AFP PHOTO/ JEWEL SAMAD


Not to be outdone, a separate group of artists known as the Illuminator Art Collective tried to recreate the statue by projecting what they dubbed a hologram of Snowden at the site of the monument.

They first shone an image of Snowden on a nearby tree, then shone it where the statue briefly stood.

Snowden, who lives in Moscow but says he wants to return to the U.S., hasn’t commented on the tributes, but journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has collaborated with the whistleblower, called the tribute “brilliant.”

An online petition has been started to have the statue returned to the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument.

This isn’t the first time Snowden has been honoured by a piece of illicit public art. Back in October, a statue of Snowden popped up in New York’s Union Square Park.

-with files from Associated Press

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