'The Portal' Art Installation Connecting NYC To Dublin, Ireland Has Been Shut Down

"The Portal," an art installation allowing New Yorkers and people in Dublin, Ireland, to see and connect with each other in real time through a livestream video feed has been shut down.

Wednesday, May 15th 2024, 10:27 am

By: CBS News


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"The Portal" art installation in New York City has been temporarily shut down.

The sculpture, located at a plaza next to the Flatiron Building, is identical to one located on the streets of Dublin, Ireland. The installations allow New Yorkers and people in Dublin to see and connect with each other in real time through a livestream video feed.

The New York installation was unveiled on May 8 and attracted tens of thousands of visitors in its first week.

Why is "The Portal" shut down in New York City?

Since "The Portal" opened, some videos have gone viral of people flashing the screen and holding up disturbing images, with culprits in both New York and Dublin.

In a statement Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Flatiron NoMad Partnership said, "Instances of inappropriate behavior have come from a very small minority of Portal visitors and have been amplified on social media."

The spokesperson said the bad behavior has occurred despite the New York installation having 24/7 on-site security and barriers in place since its launch.

As a result, "The Portal" was turned off at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

How long will "The Portal" be closed in NYC?

According to the partnership, teams in both New York and Dublin are trying to come up with solutions to prevent inappropriate behavior from appearing on the livestream, and New York's "Portal" is expected to be back on by the end of the week.

People visiting the installation Tuesday told CBS New York they hope visitors will behave appropriately once the livestream is turned back on.

"Keep it calm and and cool so we can have this stuff around. It's actually nice," New Yorker Stanley Velasco said.

"Everybody says that it's a New York problem, but it's everywhere in the world. So it doesn't matter what city you're gonna put it in, there's gonna be some sort of idiot being stupid ... It's a universal language," Irish-American Christopher Collins said.

"I hope that while 'the Portal''s down, we all take a moment to reflect on why it needed to shut down for a bit, and hopefully, when it comes back, people will use it as it was intended," New Yorker Gillian Mulder said.

In a statement, the partnership said, "The overwhelming majority of visitors to the Portal have behaved appropriately and experienced the sense of joy and connectedness that this work of public art invites people to have."

"The Portal" will remain at Flatiron Plaza through fall 2024.

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