1. Vladimir Lenin atop a building in the East Village

Our favorite sculpture in Manhattan has to be this bronze replica of Communist leader Vladimir Lenin atop a building in the East Village. What could it possibly be doing there? It turns out the statue was originally a Soviet-commissioned work, but when the Soviet Union collapsed, it was never unveiled. Developer Michael Rosen, a former professor of radical sociology at NYU, wanted a sculpture of Lenin for Red Square, his luxury apartment building on East Houston Street between Avenues A and B. A team of art dealers found the sculpture in a dacha in Moscow and brought it back for Rosen. However, in 2016 the sculpture was taken down when Red Square was sold and re-erected in June 2017 atop 178 Norfolk Street.

Also check out our article on Grounds for Sculpture in New Jersey, where Impressionist paintings were replicated as life-size sculptures. Get in touch with the author @lauraitzkowitz.