If you pass through Columbus Circle, you may notice some scaffolding has gone up, wrapped around the statue of Christopher Columbus. This is the beginning of the Public Art Fund's latest project—artist Tatzu Nishi’s “Discovering Columbus."
According to the NY Times, "the mayor’s office has decided to let the artist build a living room six stories up in the air in the middle of one of Manhattan’s busiest intersections... the plan is to have 100,000 people climb up stairs to view it." The paper seems to be hunting down those who hate the idea—talking to everyone from the deputy buildings commissioner to the secretary of the National Italian American Foundation—but hasn't found many who don't support it... except for Frank Vernuccio. The board member of the Enrico Fermi Cultural Committee "said he did not think many of New York’s Italian-Americans would find the living room revelatory [and] it was another example of the Bloomberg administration’s silly revisionism when it comes to public spaces," he told them, "The plans seem to hide the Columbus statue for no reason whatsoever."
Once the elevated living room is completed, sometime before the opening on September 20th, there will be couches, lamps, television, and other pieces of furniture you might find in a typical living space (though no Wi-Fi!). And when the installation closes on November 18th, it will turn functional, allowing workers to use the "living room" as a perch to restore the statue from.