NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - New York City's Department of Transportation has proposed permanently placing a sculpture at the public plaza at Canal and Walker Streets which connect Chinatown and Little Italy. The artwork, by an Australian-Chinese artist is supposed to pay tribute to both cultures, but some say that the sculpture is inappropriate and that they were left out of the decision-making process.
“I don't see any relevance to either the Chinese or the Italian cultures,” said Karlin Chan, a Community Board 3 member and community activist. “The DOT and city is leaving us out of the process. We have many Chinatown art groups and organizations. They were not in the selection process, they need to be on that panel.”
Chan says that this isn’t the first time the community has been ignored. When the city installed a kiosk in the space where the sculpture would go, it came with a dragon facing west, instead of east.
“In Chinese culture, we don't face west, we only face west when we're ready to die,” Chan said.
FOX 5 NY reached out to the Department of Transportation for comment, but did not hear back.