For about six hours yesterday, Edward Snowden, the world’s most famous whistleblower, got his own monument in the United States – that despite the fact that he is currently officially a persona non grata, forced into exile in Russia. A group of artists put his bust atop a stone column in Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, New York. The flat-topped column was built to honor 11,000 American prisoners of war who died aboard British ships during the Revolutionary War. Three anonymous artists, who have been working on the bust for the last six months, thought that was the perfect site to honor the heroic resistance of young Edward Snowden. The artists who, under cover of night, completed their installation very early yesterday morning, are convinced that Snowden is a patriot. Animal, an online magazine, first published a video documenting the work of the artists, as well as many favorable comments from its readers. Unfortunately, New York City authorities had a different opinion. They ordered park workers first to cover the bust with a blue plastic tarp. They then later removed the Snowden head entirely. It was all done within six hours. But scenes of Snowden’s arrival and forced departure were recorded by Mashable and other media outlets and became viral on the Internet. And the anonymous authors of this resistance putsch informed journalists that they kept the full-size mold so that the monument could be poured again. They can also print smaller Snowden busts with 3D printers. Artistic resistance to the official verdict that Snowden is a criminal rather than a hero has started.
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