Heartless! Artists say the NYC tribute stone has been removed because the permit is not present

NEW YORK (AP) – Have a heart, New York! A giant red heart sculpture installed this week in Central Park …

NEW YORK (AP) – Have a heart, New York!

A giant red-hearted sculpture installed this week in Central Park as a tribute to health professionals and victims of COVID-19 has been removed – an obvious victim of confusion and bureaucracy.

Italian sculptor Sergio Furnari says he was walking past the park on Thursday afternoon with friends when he noticed that his “Heroes Heart Monument” was gone.

When he went to file a police report, he said, he was jumped from police station to police station until a police officer on Friday showed him a video of people removing the 10-foot-tall, 3,000-pound (3-meter, 1,360-kilogram) man. ) monument and place it on a truck.

“They literally broke my heart,” Furnari said as he arrived Friday night.

Furnari admitted that he did not have a permit to place the heart in the park, but considered a $ 4,000 grant he received from the New York City government to be his permit for the temporary installation. He said he considered the removal of his memorial to be “an abuse of power.”

A message was left to the Central Park Conservancy, the nonprofit organization that manages the park on behalf of the city, for comment. Furnari said he planned to go to the organization on Monday to find out what happened to his heart.

Furnari said he wanted the sculpture to be a place of emotional and spiritual comfort in the busy city and not just a popular place for selfies, though he said he was cool with it too.

The work was an extension of another work he created earlier in the pandemic: a life-size sculpture of a health worker kneeling with his arms outstretched toward the sky.

In an interview prior to the sculpture’s removal, the artist explained his vision for the work.

“Everyone suffers in different ways and needs all sorts of comfort,” Furnari said. “I hope this heart helps them remember their loved ones and cope with the grief. For a moment, they can forget their problems. ”

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Associated Press Reporter Philip Marcelo of Boston contributed to this report.

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