According to the New York Post, Tatzu Nishi’s Discover Columbus installation is raising the ire of local Italian-Americans as much as it’s raising eyes with its living-room–in–progress. The installation, which will eventually allow visitors up scaffolding and into a “room” built around the statue, disrespects the explorer’s legacy, the Post reports:
Rosario Iaconis, chairman of the Italic Institute of America, called the plan “a bit of an abomination.”
“Erecting this living-room set around the statue demeans the community,” he said. “Mayor Bloomberg has had issues with the community and the Columbus Parade. He’s never made amends. I think [The statue] is the height of folly.”
The Italic Institute’s Executive Director, John Mancini, similarly denounced the installation as a humiliation of the Italian-American community. There’s a scant month until the installation opens on Sep 20 and will run until Nov 18, encompassing Columbus Day on Oct 8. Bloomberg released a statement in support of the installation.
The Consolato Generale d’Italia a New York did not respond to request for comment as of press time. The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute also did not respond to request for comment.