The naked Donald Trump statue has been removed from a Capitol Hill street corner, but it's still in Seattle and available for viewing.
We have an update on Donald Trump. Well, not the man himself. The naked statue that popped up overnight on a Capitol Hill corner.
Thursday evening, as a throng of onlookers snapped photos of the presidential candidate’s nude figure, a man hoisted the golden effigy onto his shoulder and placed it into the bed of a pickup — then drove away.
Dave Meinert, owner of several Capitol Hill nightlife establishments, said he’s one of the people responsible for the grab, acting with permission from INDECLINE, the group that carried out the nationwide Trump-statue stunt. The group hadn’t responded to a request for comment.
Meinert said he was heading to get a drink and a slice of pizza about 4:30 p.m. Thursday when he came across the impromptu art installation. Members of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) were hanging around, too, so he and another man, Billy Hutchinson, owner of No Parking On Pike, decided to act fast.
They feared the statue would meet the same fate as the one placed in New York City’s Union Square: being smashed and carted away by the city.
“[Hutchinson] came out [of his shop] and was like, ‘Hey, they’re going to take this and it’s going to get ruined. We should save it,’ ” he said. “I was like, ‘Yeah man, of course. That sounds great.’ “
So he had one of his employees whisk it away.
Ballard resident Casey Warren Berner, 25, had set up a camera from his office window above the corner and streamed the action on Facebook.
“I just had a feeling something was going to happen,” he said.
SDOT spokesman Norm Mah said when the statue was removed, the department was still evaluating whether it posed a risk or impediment to pedestrians.
“A private party removed it,” he said. “After that, it was moot for us.”
Now, Seattle’s Trump statue can be found at Hutchinson’s vintage shop, at 1102 E. Pike St.
The shop posted a photo of it — “in all his glory” — with a carefully placed birdcage covering the most sensitive parts.
Hutchinson said Friday afternoon people are welcome to come in and “enjoy” the statue.
He said he and Meinert hadn’t decided what to do next, but might push his landlord for permission to have it mounted on the shop’s building.
But, he said, “You’re going to run into political opposition for something as goofy as this, especially from Donald Trump’s lawyers.”
Meinert said another option would be to auction it off in support immigrant families.
Overall, the art installation was a success in eliciting the wide range of reactions it has so far, Meinert said.
“As a public art stunt, it’s brilliant,” he said. “It got the conversation going, which is what makes art important.”