Volume 74, Number 51 | April 27 - May 03 , 2005

Villager photos by Bob Arihood

The Passion of Astor Pl.

As a protest against the U.S. war in Iraq, Eric Wallach of the East Village staged his own crucifixion at the Astor Pl. traffic triangle at Lafayette St., from where the Cube sculpture was recently removed for repairs. To crucify himself at the East Village crossroads, Wallach climbed on top of a crossing-signal sign, tied his wrists to a crossbeam and perched there about two hours. Passersby snapped photos of him with their cellphone cameras, but when onlookers began to crowd the island, police moved them off. The expression on Wallach’s face was of ecstasy, though at times he appeared to be actually crying. Modern-day centurions of a sort, three police officers took him down from his “cross,” handcuffed him, put him on a backboard and loaded him into a police vehicle. Wallach, who also goes by the moniker Radical Jew 33, is a freelance theater artist and self-described “provocateur.” “I just can’t stand the war,” he told The Villager.

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