Bronze Elon Musk statue in downtown Manhattan unveiled to a wave of mockery

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There’s a 6-foot Elon Musk statue in New York and one ‘lucky’ person has the chance of taking it home  (@public (Twitter))
There’s a 6-foot Elon Musk statue in New York and one ‘lucky’ person has the chance of taking it home (@public (Twitter))

A bronze statue of Elon Musk was unveiled in Lower Manhattan on Monday, but judging by Twitter’s reaction, it may not be safe there.

“Thank you, it’s getting hard to find public toilets,” one user wrote.

“I’m gonna wreck into it with my Tesla Model S Plaid Edition electric vehicle,” another commented.

The statue was installed by the investing website public.com, which said it was also raffling off 100 miniatures of it for Mr Musk’s birthday.

“Love or hate him, @elonmusk turns 50 today,” the site tweeted. “And because Elon’s ambition (and maybe ego) is definitely not miniature, we dropped a life-sized statue on 14th St. and The High Line stairs in NYC.”

The internet’s judgment was swift.

“This is worse than if you took a s*** in the street,” one Twitter user replied.

“Hideous statue that looks nothing like him and shouldn’t exist,” another opined.

Others offered instructions on how to topple a statue, or suggestions for where to dump it.

“Very close to the Hudson River, very convenient,” someone wrote.

“Thanks for posting the location! I will be defacing this soon,” another announced.

Mr Musk, a multibillionaire who serves as CEO of companies including SpaceX and Tesla, is renowned by some as a visionary innovator, but reviled by others as a spreader of Covid-19 misinformation and embodiment of capitalist excess.

On Twitter, it was clear that most of the people replying to public.com were in the latter category. Amid the hundreds of replies, a positive comment was hard to find. Remarks on the sculpture’s potential as a public restroom, however, were extremely common.

“Thank you. The shortage of public toilets in NYC is no joke,” another user commented. “I am sure this one will get a lot of use.”

The statue depicts a smiling man in a T-shirt, looking up with his hands on his head. The figure’s hairline is oddly high for Mr Musk, who has a full head of hair, and its face does not bear a striking resemblance to Mr Musk’s. Some thought it looked like Gerald Ford; to others it evoked Tony Soprano.

“The nicest thing I can say about this waste of bronze is that it looks nothing like Elon Musk,” one person wrote.

Others didn’t think the statue had a long future in New York City.

“That statue is going to be in pieces before the end of the week,” one user predicted.

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