Some of the most revered people in the world are immortalized with a statue. In short, statues represent the milieu of a nation. So it’s only fitting that a statue of Pikachu popped up in New Orleans overnight.
A fiberglass Pikachu standing atop a concrete base — arms crossed, face defiant, and painted to look like it was made from weathered bronze — appeared on a defunct fountain in the Garden District of New Orleans on Sunday morning. No one knows how it got there or who put it up, but it’s pretty clear why: Pokémon Go runs the world and there’s nothing the non-playing masses can do about it.
The unsanctioned statue (read: illegal) is in what was previously an empty, weed-and-spare-tire filled area of Coliseum Square on Terpsichore Street. Coliseum Square is just to the south of the French Quarter and the Superdome, and is filled with other tastefully artistic statues inspired by the nine muses of Greek mythology.
And now, Pika:
New Orlean’s Pikachu statue — monument, really — belongs in a special category of defiant pop-up statues:
- There was the 100-pound Edward Snowden bust put on top of a Revolutionary War monument in Brooklyn.
- And who could forget the Vladimir Lenin statue in Ukraine that was transformed into a Darth Vader statue?
- Or, in a more ethereal state of illegal statue building, the Colorado man who created rock sculptures by balancing loose stones.
Although, judging from a Google Maps image of the fountain pre-Pokémon Go mania, the Pikachu statue is a huge improvement:
Pikachu might not be the first choice for New Orleans officials when it comes to subjects for statues, but the vigilante statue uprising could prove to be a cheap way for the city to beautify forgotten areas. Then, in the foreseeable future after New Orleans has sunk into the Gulf of Mexico and been forgotten, archeologists will excavate the Pikachu statue and understand what the summer of 2016 was really all about.