The Arts and Culture committee of Occupy Wall Street has asked sculptor Mark Di Suvero to speak out against the barricades surrounding his work, "Joie de Vivre," that just so happens to be in the middle of the action at Zucotti Park. Its location at the South East corner of the park means that it has become a constant visual presence in documentation of the cultural battleground.After a protester ascended to a platform on the sculpture 30 feet above the ground, a barricade was set up around the piece complete with Metropolitan Museum of Art signage and NYPD stickers. The Met released this statement after being asked about the barricades bearing their logo.
"It's accurate to say that the Metropolitan Museum was unaware that the barricade labeled with the Met's name was being used there. After checking around, it seems that the barricade must have been picked up accidentally from outside the museum with other, unlabeled barricades after a City event (perhaps a parade) and then transferred to the park."
In the letter to Di Suvero, OWS stresses the importance of the sculpture as a meeting point and speaking platform as they ask the artist to publicly urge the ban of any barricades that would serve to close off public space to political assembly. The letter cites Di Suvero's outspoken critiques of the wars in Vietnam and Iraq as a natural predisposition of the artist to address public issues. Di Suvero's involvement in the Peace Tower project (1966 and 2006) became symbolic of anti-war protest and OWS hopes that this legacy will encourage the artist to aid in their cause.