NEW YORK, Ny. – Martin Shkreli, an American entrepreneur and pharmaceutical executive, finalized plans this week to erect a sixty-foot tall solid gold statue of himself in Times Square later this month, according to an article published in the New York Daily News on Saturday.
The thirty-two year-old Brooklyn native quietly purchased the northern triangle of Times Square -known as Duffy Square, from the City of New York for $10 million in late January and, according to public records, promptly renamed it ‘Shkreli Square.’
The historic landmark currently hosts two statues: one memorializing the late George M. Cohan, a prominent composer and playwright; and the other, Chaplain Francis P. Duffy -the man behind the square’s namesake. Duffy served as an army chaplain for New York’s ‘Fighting 69th’ Infantry Regiment during World War I.
Now Mr. Shkreli plans to remove the bronze statue of Chaplain Duffy and replace it with a “tasteful” depiction of himself. As to the fate of the current statue, Mr. Shkreli has reportedly asked world-renowned artist and sculptor Jin Sun-pak to melt it down for the purpose of re-sculpting it into a bronze ottoman which will soon sit at the base of the sixty-foot golden Shkreli. “It’ll give people a place to sit while they admire me,” Shkreli told the NY Daily News.
The co-founder of the hedge fund MSMB Capital Management said he was able to coax the eccentric Jin out of retirement to hammer and chisel his striking features into a thirty-three ton block of solid gold only after arranging to relocate the famed sculptor to the United States where he intends to seek political asylum from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The fifty-seven year-old Jin Sun-pak is perhaps most well-known for the Mansu Hill Grand Monument. Located in downtown Pyongyang, the monument depicts the late North Korean leader Kim Il-sung alongside his son and successor Kim Jong-il.