Dublin ‘portal’ to New York turned off after Irish pranksters hold aloft images of burning Twin Towers

13 May 2024, 15:30 | Updated: 14 May 2024, 09:04

Dublin ‘portal’ to New York turned off after Irish pranksters hold aloft images of burning Twin Towers
Dublin ‘portal’ to New York turned off after Irish pranksters hold aloft images of burning Twin Towers. Picture: Alamy / TikTok

By Danielle De Wolfe

The 'portal' art installation linking Dublin with New York has been turned off after a prankster held aloft an image of the burning Twin Towers.

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The installation, created by Lithuanian artist Benediktas Gylys, linked the centre of New York City with the heart of Dublin via a giant screen that live-streamed 24-hours a day.

However, following a series of escalating pranks, the screens began being used to insult and offend users on opposite sides of the Atlantic.

Now the concept now appears to have been shut down, with pictures emerging on Monday showing blank screens in the Irish city centre.

Launched at the beginning of May, the installation weighs in at the 3.5-tons and was initially scheduled to run until the Autumn.

Part interactive sculpture, part webcam, the portal's launch saw a red cloth removed from a screen to reveal dancers on both America and Ireland.

The Dublin portal is located across the road from Dublin's General Post Office, on O'Connell Street in the centre of the city.

Dublin-New York livestream temporarily closed over ‘inappropriate behaviour’

Meanwhile, the New York screen is located on Flatiron South Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street.

What began as an innocent way of reuniting friends on opposite sides of the Atlantic and jesting using pictures of potatoes on mobile phone screens quickly escalated.

One man amongst a group of men could be seen typing on his phone, before holding a picture of the burning twin towers aloft at the screen.

"This is why we can't have nice things" wrote one observer, who documented the incident and posted it to social media.

However, the operator of "The Portal" linking the two major cities has now insisted that the shut down is in fact due to a software issue.

It comes as RTE reports The Portal's shut down had come as a result of a "technical glitch".

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The firm operating the screens are said to have confirmed the live stream had shut down, but said it was due to a software issue.

"The nature of the project, providing a 24/7 livestream, is such that sometimes interruptions will occur due to technical glitches, maintenance or simple software updates," portal.com said in a statement.

"Our teams (portals.org and AVSPL) are doing their best to ensure smooth and consistent operations in order to come as close as possible to a 24/7 active live stream.

After the creation of the portal was announced, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daithí De Róiste, said: "I would encourage Dubliners and visitors to the city to come and interact with the sculpture and extend an Irish welcome and kindness to cities all over the world."

Mr Gylys, founder of the portal, said: "Portals are an invitation to meet people above borders and differences and to experience our world as it really is - united and one."

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