Art exhibit to displace Christmas tree in Washington Square Park

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GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan — "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" is the first of 300 works appearing in all five boroughs by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.

Locals and tourists alike weighed in on what this art installation really is trying to say.

“It’s very welcoming, light and airy,” Ronda Klicko, a tourist from a Texas, told PIX11.

“What I see is passing through an enclosure, a prison,” Jeff Lydon, an architect, told PIX11. “And you can get through that, the process, and can see two people embracing."

This Washington Square art installation will be here until Feb. 11, displacing the Christmas tree which for 94 years has been in the arch, something the head of the Washington Square Association said he was never consulted about until a month ago.

“We love the idea bringing art into the park, but  the way they’ve gone about it is atrocious,” Trevor Sumner, the president of the Washington Square Association, told PIX11. “There could’ve been a process. Instead, they turned friends into enemies,"

The Public Art Fund, which underwrote this project, said “every organization with the exception of the association has been absolutely enthusiastic,” adding that they would pay for relocating the tree.

Some longtime Village residents say there’s lots of room for compromise.

 “We could be a equal opportunity park. After all. this is the Village,” Stephanie Ressler Hochstat said.

“There’s plenty of room for a Christmas tree,” her husband Michael added.