3. Artist of Zuccotti Park’s 70-Foot-Tall Sculpture Was Not Allowed to Speak at the Unveiling

One of the sculptures at Zuccotti Park is the massive Joie de Vivre by Mark di Suvero. Its name means the joy of life in French, and the sculpture—a collision of bright red beams that forms an abstract image of a person raising their arms to the sky—echoes the optimism and energy inherent in its title. The sculpture is made of what the artist has described as ‘open-ended tetrahedrons,’ and was installed in 2006 after previous stints in Paris and at the Holland Tunnel. It merges aesthetic and industrial styles.

Interestingly, the artist Mark di Suvero was not allowed to speak at the sculpture’s unveiling ceremony in 2006, back when the park was still Liberty Plaza Park. di Suvero was a vocal protestor of the Vietnam War and a harsh critic of the Bush administration, and he believed his political views were the reason he was not allowed to speak. “They’re not going to let me talk,” di Suvero, 72, told the Downtown Express in 2006. “Nah, they’re scared. I got arrested during the [Republican] convention for saying Bush lied. I was one of the oldest people that got hauled in.”

It is likely that di Suvero was pleased to hear that in October 2011, during the Occupy Wall Street protests, a man climbed Joie de Vivre and remained there for several hours until taken down by the police.