(Photo: Yana Paskova for The New York Times)

One of Antony Gormley’s naked men, easy to mistake for someone about to jump, atop a building in Madison Square.

They stand about six feet tall and look like naked human beings. Over the next few days, 27 of them will be scattered across rooftops and ledges of buildings in Midtown Manhattan — including the Empire State Building — as part of a public art exhibition.

About the same time that the first figure was placed atop a four-story building at 25th Street and Fifth Avenue on Tuesday, the Police Department issued a statement reassuring New Yorkers that the figures are not despondent people on the verge of leaping to their deaths.

Police officials said they were trying to prevent an overwhelming number of emergency calls from concerned pedestrians or office workers. Nevertheless, they said that all emergency calls about a potential suicide would be taken seriously — even those from places where one of the figures is located.

“We are going to respond no matter what because there could be a jumper at the spot,” said Paul J. Browne, the department’s chief spokesman.

The figures, which are anatomically correct, are modeled after the body of the artist Antony Gormley, who created the exhibition, which is being presented by the Madison Square Park Conservancy.


Michael S. Schmidt
New York Times