NEW YORK (AP) — A granite tombstone bearing the name Donald J. Trump that police confiscated in Central Park months ago is now on display at a Brooklyn gallery.
The year of Trump’s birth and the words “Made America Hate Again” also are chiseled into the 500-pound slab.
Artist Brian Andrew Whiteley said he created it to remind the Republican presidential nominee that he has “stirred the pot of racism, anger and fear and to help Donald reflect on the legacy he’s leaving behind.”
Dubbed “The Trump Tombstone,” it first appeared last spring in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow.
At about 4 a.m. “my accomplices met me there, and we sneaked in by clipping off the metal twist-ties on a gate,” Whiteley recalled on Saturday. “Then we rolled in the tombstone and just plopped it on the ground.”
After dawn, the sensation drew crowds snapping pictures as police moved in.
Police held the stone for months while tracking down Whiteley by visiting various New York tombstone businesses.
Then came the visits to his home from the New York Police Department and the Secret Service who interrogated him “to make sure I wasn’t mentally ill,” he said.
Along with hate mail he received from right-wing publications, “I was terrified,” he said.
With the help of attorney Ron Kuby, who pushed authorities to release Whiteley’s work, the artist ended up paying a $300 fine for littering in Central Park.
This weekend, the tombstone reappeared in the Christopher Stout Gallery in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood where it’s on display through Oct. 9. Then it will be moved to a gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
It’s “very Trumpian,” said Whiteley, who contends that the candidate “is an egomaniac who loves putting his name on stuff — even a tombstone.”