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Edward Snowden’s likeness may have run into ironically, painfully vague legal trouble in the U.S., but in Germany, he’s now a stable work of public art.
The former National Security Agency systems analyst is now immortalized as a statue in Berlin in the famous Alexanderplatz plaza. As reported by RT, Snowden stands alongside Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence officer who leaked a trove of data, including footage of Americans killing civilians from a military helicopter, and Julian Assange, who runs the website WikiLeaks.
All three are pivotal in exposing major U.S. government secrecy, and all three are in some way confined. Manning is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence. Snowden is wanted by the U.S., but is living on a temporary visa in Moscow. And Assange, who faces sexual assault allegations, has been cooped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012.
One criticism from Manning supporters, however, is that sculptor Davide Dormino chose to depict Manning, a trans woman, as a man. Manning has sued the Department of Defense over a lack of hormone therapy, likely setting a precedent for Americans in military prison.
Snowden’s U.S. statue, created by anonymous artists and placed in Brooklyn’s historic Fort Greene Park, remains in police custody without charges against the artists.
Screengrab via RT Deutsch/YouTube
A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.