Sculptor gets laughs in New York with monuments to fake tragedies

NEW YORK: It all started in 2016 with a bronze statue commemorating the tragic day in November 1963 when a giant octopus upended the Staten Island ferry, killing nearly 400 people in New York.

Wait, what a giant octopus? Artist Joseph Reginella smiles. Yes, you read that right.

In 2017, another statue appeared in Battery Park, at the lower tip of Manhattan a monument to the Wall Street bankers trampled to death in October 1929 when circus impresario P.T. Barnums elephants broke into a panicked stampede while crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.

Hard to believe? Well, quite.

A few months ago, strollers along the waters edge in New York found a new statue dedicated to the six crew members of a tugboat who were abducted by aliens in July 1977.

The three memorials to three made-up tragedies sprung from the vivid imagination of Reginella, a 47-year-old sculptor and jokester who has made an art out of monuments commemorating non-existent victims.

Reginella who makes his living building models and props for movies, amusement parks and department stores realizes its rather a peculiar hobby.

He makes the bronze sculptures in his spare time, in the basement of his Staten Island home.

His 2016 sculpture of the octopus sinking the ferry was such a popular hit that he decided to produce a new monument each year along the same lines and following the same sophisticated sense of humor.

Documents to lend credibility

Reginella begins by choosing the date of the invented disaster with care and having it ....

read more from