Travel | October 5, 2016 5:00 am

Artist Tricks New York City Tourists With Fake Monument Depicting Squid Disaster in Staten Island

Staten Island Ferry Disaster
(AP Photo/Ula Ilnytzky)
(AP Photo/Ula Ilnytzky)


Save for its free ferry service that passes within selfie distance of the Statue of Liberty, you hardly ever hear anyone expounding on the glorious history of Staten Island. The most difficult to reach of New York City’s five boroughs, it gets a bum rap, for sure.

So, artist Joe Reginella decided to do something about that—and in the process, poke fun at how gullible some of the City’s tourists can be. He dreamed up a fictional memorial for the “Staten Island Ferry Disaster,” when a giant octopus attacked the ferry, pulling it below the surface, and killing everyone onboard. Reads the monument:

“Dedicated in loving memory to the passengers and crew of the Cornelius G. Kloff, who lost their lives on November 22, 1963, in one of the most mysterious and tragic maritime disasters in American history[.] Erected by the Staten Island Ferry Memorial Foundation and Chemical Bank.”

Of course, the disaster is completely fake, but after installing the monument to it near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, unwitting tourists began reading it and taking pictures of it, believing it to be a real event.



To trip up the smarter, Google-friendly set, Reginella also launched a detailed website, which discusses the fake disaster at length. He even went as far to paper the city with fliers about the opening of a Staten Island Ferry Disaster Memorial Museum.

The final nail in the coffin? Reginella filmed a “documentary” about the disaster. Watch it below.