A controversial new statue has been placed on top of a New York City courthouse.
Created by artist Shahzia Sikander, the golden eight-foot statue is entitled “NOW.” According to Sikander, the statue is a tribute to abortion rights and to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Sikander reportedly stated that the statue was called “NOW” “because it was needed ‘now,’ at a time when women’s reproductive rights [are] under siege after the U.S. Supreme Court in June overturned the constitutional right to abortion.” Sikander described the statue as “part of an ‘urgent and necessary cultural reckoning underway as New York reconsiders traditional representations of power in public spaces and recasts civic structures to better reflect 21st-century social mores.’”
The “NOW” statue is a female figure with a Ginsburg-esque lace collar, tentacles coming out of her torso, and braided hair arranged in the shape of ram’s horns. The statue is currently installed on the roof of the courthouse of the Appellate Division, First Department in Manhattan; other statues at the courthouse depict male lawgivers from various periods in history. According to Fox News, the statue is scheduled to be moved to Houston, Texas in June.
Various observers have reacted negatively to the “NOW” statue. New York City Councilmember Vickie Paladino (R-Queens) called the statue “‘a satanic golden medusa demon with tentacle arms.’” The statue has also been described as having a “‘bizarre resemblance’ to Satanic imagery” and as “‘designed to unsettle and spread ugliness.’”
It is unfortunate that a New York City courthouse has chosen to unveil a statue that champions abortion rights. Sadly, here in New York, the statue does reflect “‘21st-century social mores.’” Given that the “NOW” statue expresses a pro-abortion message, it is fitting that the statue appears sinister and evil.