'Inappropriate' behavior shuts down Dublin to New York City portal

KABC logo
Wednesday, May 15, 2024
Portal shutting down Tuesday to address 'inappropriate behavior'
Michelle Charlesworth is live in the Flatiron District with details on the portal shutdown.

NEW YORK -- A new art installation in New York City that transports viewers more than 3,000 miles away to Dublin will temporarily shut down Tuesday to address some bad behavior.

The installation, called The Portal, features two identical sculptures with a visual live stream connecting the two cities. It was unveiled last Wednesday next to the famed Flatiron Building.

It allows visitors to watch and interact with each other and has already attracted tens of thousands of visitors.

Although it has been less than a week since its debut, organizers realized there is a problem amid reports of inappropriate behavior such as people flashing body parts or putting curse words on screen.

"The overwhelming majority of visitors have behaved appropriately and experienced the sense of joy and connectedness that this work of public art is intended to evoke," the Flatiron NoMad Partnership said in a statement. "Instances of inappropriate behavior have come from a very small minority of Portal visitors and have been amplified on social media."

Dublin's city council said in a statement it was looking for ways to come up with a solution to the bad behavior while keeping the portal open so the good intentions behind it can continue.

On the New York side, the Flatiron NoMad Partnership said there are a set of protocols in place since the launch, including 24/7 on-site security and barriers to prevent the public from stepping onto The Portal.

"The Portals team and our partners in Dublin are working on additional solutions including software updates to limit such behavior appearing on the livestream; additional on-site staffing; barriers to prevent people from stepping onto the Dublin Portal; and educational tools on how to best interact with the Portal on both sides," the statement went on to say.

In order to implement those solutions, the Portal will be turned off for a few days, starting at 5 p.m. New York City time on Tuesday, and will be back by the end of the week.

The Portals were initially set to remain open 24/7 for the next six months through the fall.