Declaring love for New York is a cliche from residents and tourists alike, but in one case, such a statement was not seen as a sign of pride; instead, it was ironically viewed as a dangerous threat.
Takeshi Miyakawa was arrested at 2 a.m. this past Saturday, May 19, for "planting false bombs" in Brooklyn. His plastic bags emblazoned with the "I ♥ NY" logo were lit up from the inside with white LED lights and hung from trees and lampposts around New York City. A passerby called in a bomb threat, suspecting that the work was an act of terror, and not of art.
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The bomb squad confirmed that the installation art was non-threatening while Miyakawa was questioned by the NYPD.
On Sunday, Miyakawa was charged with reckless endangerment and placing "a false bomb or hazardous substance," among other charges. Judge Martin Murphy ordered Miyakawa to be held for an additional 30 days, pending a psychological evaluation.
His lawyer, Deborah J. Blum, called the incident "a gross misunderstanding."
Miyakawa's friend, Louis Lim, defended the artist, saying, "He wanted to promote a positive message," in conjunction with NY Design Week 2012.
The 50-year-old Miyakawa relocated to New York City from Tokyo 23 years ago, and established his own practice, Takeshi Miyakawa Design, in 2001. His website shows his unique furniture and other works of innovative and quirky design, including a byzantine piggy bank that sucks your money from you.
Miyakawa has an established background, including having worked with acclaimed architect Rafael Viñoly, so his detainment might raise a few eyebrows. Though he may ♥ New York, the Big Apple doesn't appear to reciprocate his feelings.