ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A statue of financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein popped up outside city hall overnight. And although it wasn’t there long, the pictures online have sparked a lot of questions. KRQE News 13 got a hold of the group behind it to get their explanation.
“We think we need an Epstein statue in every school because otherwise how are students even going to learn they even existed? You know those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it, and so if we don’t have statues of Epstein up, how can we prevent predatory behavior,” said an anonymous member of Antlion Entertainment Art Collective.
The group says although people like Jeffrey Epstein are known for doing horrible things and committing crimes, “a statue is just a statue.” I was also a satirical political statement against all the statues and monuments that have been torn down all over the country recently.
“You know, so many statues are being taken down but you know, people are saying that they’re bad people, so you know maybe we just need more statues of people like Epstein because that’s historical too, so we maybe need statues of people like Epstein, maybe school’s can even have statue parks with people like Hitler, and Mao and Lenin just so that we can really you know, remember history,” said the anonymous member.
Epstein was accused of sexually assaulting dozens of young women and girls over many years, some during the time he lived at his Zorro Ranch in Stanley, New Mexico. People said they didn’t think it was appropriate.
“I don’t condone it but it’s people’s right, as American’s to express their feelings, but it’s only to a certain extent,” said Adrian Toledo of Albuquerque.
Mayor Tim Keller was also asked about it at a press conference Wednesday. “I personally actually didn’t see it. Somebody mentioned it, I was like that doesn’t make any sense. so that’s where I’m at right now,” said Mayor Keller.
The Antlion Entertainment Art Collection says they have chapters across the country and are an international group. They say they’ve made and put up statues elsewhere of other famous historic figures.
A spokesperson for the city’s Department of Municipal Development says it was not actually a statue but rather a mannequin painted gold. They went on to say it was removed early Wednesday morning as it was placed there without the city’s knowledge or permission. The mannequin will eventually be destroyed.