NBC 4 New York
The 13-foot statue of Christopher Columbus is the subject of an elevated art installation at Columbus Circle. It opens Sept. 20, 2012.
Visitors to Columbus Circle will soon be able to get an up-close look at the landmark's iconic statue -- inside a contemporary living room.
The 13-foot statue of Christopher Columbus has been surrounded by stairs and scaffolding as part of Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi's "Discovering Columbus" installation.
The Columbus Circle attraction towers six stories above street level, surrounded by loft-style windows that will give tourists views of Central Park and Midtown.
Beginning Thursday, Sept. 20, groups of 25 people at a time will be allowed to climb a 70-foot staircase to enter an enclosed "living room" built around the statue.
Some Italian Americans protested the temporary installation earlier this summer, saying it was offensive.
The monument will be open through Nov. 18, and will be free of charge, though visitors will need to reserve passes in advance through the Public Art Fund in Columbus Circle.