German Artists Reportedly Claim Responsibility For Brooklyn Bridge White Flag Incident
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Two German artists claim they are behind a stunt in which Old Glory was swapped out atop the Brooklyn Bridge in favor of white flags.
Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke told the New York Times they were behind the stunt to celebrate “the beauty of public space.”
The pair planned to replace the flags on July 22 because that was the day the bridge’s engineer John Roebling died in 1869, the Times reported.
The NYPD released a statement on the artists’ claims.
“The NYPD is aware of the public statements made by the German Artists, Mishcha Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke in regard to the Brooklyn Bridge flag case,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis said in the statement. “The investigation is continuing.”
Police told CBS 2 they would like to talk to the artists, but they are believed to be back in Germany.
It’s not the first time someone has claimed responsibility for the flag incident, which prompted a massive security overhaul for the iconic bridge.
Previously, the “New Pot Party” claimed responsibility for the incident. A parody Twitter account also claimed responsibility for the incident.
However, by way of proof they carried it out, the artist duo gave the Times a snippet of video purportedly shot from the top of the bridge’s towers showing a white flag waving.
“This was not an anti-American statement,” Wermke said, according to the Times.
“From our Berlin background, we were a little surprised that it got the reaction it did. We really didn’t intend to embarrass the police,” Leinkauf ssaid, according to the Times.
PHOTOS: Mysterious Brooklyn Bridge Flags
Just last week, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the NYPD had “a pretty good idea of who was involved” in the stunt, adding that “Knowing is not proving. So when we have proof, we’ll move.”
The commissioner also reiterated that they believe the incident was not terror related.
“Nothing of that nature whatsoever,” he said.
The pair told the Times they made the flags themselves, hand-sewing them together with two different kinds of white fabric.
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