|View of the public art installation from Eighth Avenue|
The new art installation "Discovering Columbus" by Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi is an 800-square-foot replica of a contemporary living room that is suspended 70 feet in the air supported by scaffolding. The living room surrounds the 13-foot marble statue of Christopher Columbus, which has stood on a granite podium high above the middle of a traffic circle (Columbus Circle) for the past 120 years. The statue, which was created by Gaetano Russo in 1892, appears to stand on a coffee table and is surrounded by several chairs, sofas, a bookcase and flat screen television, just like a living room. Visitors are allowed to lounge on the furniture for a good look at the statue. The wallpaper covering the walls was designed by the artist and features iconic American pop culture figures, such as Mickey Mouse, Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe. Nishi is known for taking a usually inaccessible object and creating a living space around it so visitors can observe the object up close. The exhibit continues through November 18. Visitors can obtain free passes by signing up at the Public Art Fund's website.