Tags: german | artists | brooklyn bridge | white | flags

German Artists: Brooklyn Bridge White Flag Stunt Claimed

Image: German Artists: Brooklyn Bridge White Flag Stunt Claimed
(Andrew Gombert/EPA/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 01:16 PM

Two German artists have claimed responsibility for a Brooklyn Bridge stunt that replaced the bridge's American flags with white flags earlier this summer.

The flags appeared the morning of July 22, causing residents to worry, joke, and speculate: Was it a prank? A major security breach? Both? In any case, police took the matter very seriously, running license plates of cars that crossed the bridge the night before.

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On Tuesday, The New York Times identified the culprits as two self-described artists, Mischa Leinkauf, 37, and Matthias Wermke, 35. They presented video evidence of their climb to the top of the bridge towers, and said they hand-stitched the all-white American flags.

Wermke and Leinkauf said they have installed uncommissioned art pieces in several cities around the world. They were taken aback by the public reaction, as they only wanted to celebrate "the beauty of public space" and the bridge's German-born engineer, John Roebling, who died on July 22, 1869.

"From our Berlin background, we were a little surprised that it got the reaction it did. We really didn’t intend to embarrass the police," Leinkauf said, the NYT reported.

"This was not an anti-American statement," Wermke added.

"We saw the bridge, which was designed by a German, trained in Berlin, who came to America because it was the place to fulfill his dreams, as the most beautiful expression of a great public space," Leinkauf continued. "That beauty was what we were trying to capture."

Both men are now back in Germany and say they are in possession of the American flags they took down. They emphasized that they folded the flags as is customary and treated them with respect. They intend to return them.

"Few people would care if we did the same thing in Berlin," said Leinkauf, acknowledging that perhaps cultural differences hadn't been considered enough. "Of course, we did not have the same problems with terrorism."



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Two German artists have claimed responsibility for a Brooklyn Bridge stunt that replaced the bridge's American flags with white flags earlier this summer.
german, artists, brooklyn bridge, white, flags
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2014-16-13
Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 01:16 PM
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