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You read that right: there is a nine-foot tall Hello Kitty, and it lives in New York’s Dag Hammerskjold Plaza on East 47th Street.

After a modest Kickstarter campaign, Japanese artist Sebastian Masuda’s ambitious new art installation finally opened on East 47th Street last month. The Hello Kitty statue, dubbed the “Time After Time Capsule” by its creator, was built to store donated personal items called “kawaii,” or “objects and feelings uniquely personalized by each individual” as Masuda puts it. Sadly, as of our photo last week almost a month after opening, it remains nearly empty.

The sculpture is among several, the second after a similar piece that launched the project last year in Miami, that will be placed in cities all around the world within the next five years to collect items and mementoes to be displayed in a single large-scale exhibition at the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

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Masuda, never one to shy away from the ‘cuteness’ that some art aficionados consistently spurn, said this in a press release accompanying the New York opening ceremony: “Bringing the sculptures together into a greater whole, as intended with this project, we hope to create a treasure trove of your cherished items and store them in these larger-than-life time capsules.”

Dag Hammerskjold Plaza‘s adorable new tenant will remain in the park until September 13th.


Next, it gets weirder: read about the Hello Kitty Hotel Room in Taiwan. Also check out 10 outdoor installations not to miss in NYC this month. Get in touch with the author @jinwoochong.