NYC removes COVID-19 heart statues despite $4,000 grant

A sculptor who received a $4,000 grant from the city to create a COVID-19 tribute — but installed it in Central Park without a permit — was furious after the statue was removed.

He said the Central Park Conservancy removed the heart-shaped COVID-19 statue last week, leaving its creator, Italian artist Sergio Fornari, “sad.”

Furnari poses for a photo in front of his statue on October 25, 2021. He said it is "Heart broken" to remove it.
Furnari poses for a photo in front of his statue on October 25, 2021. He said he was “sad” about its removal.
AP Photo / Dieu-Nalio Chery

Furnari discovered the missing ‘Heart of Heroes’ monument on Thursday.

Furnari believed that city funding – not a permit – would allow the installation and called its removal an “abuse of power.”

The city originally awarded Farnari a $4,000 grant to honor health care workers during the pandemic.
The city originally awarded Farnari a $4,000 grant to honor health care workers during the pandemic.
AP Photo / Dieu-Nalio Chery
A girl standing in front of a heart statue.
A girl stands in front of the Heroes Heart Monument.
AP Photo / Dieu-Nalio Chery

The sculptor plans to go to the Central Park Conservancy, which oversees the park, on Monday to find out what happened to his artwork.

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