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5,000-Pound Gorilla Sculpture Makes Gawkers Go Ape in Midtown

By Alan Neuhauser | November 6, 2013 2:20pm
 A sculpture by the artist Jeff Koons, "Gorilla," went on display in Midtown on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013.
Sixth Avenue Gorilla
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MIDTOWN — King Kong seems to have gotten lost.

The black-granite sculpture "Gorilla" by famed artist Jeff Koons went on display on Sixth Avenue, near 48th Street this week — delighting passersby, who went bananas and posed with the beast.

Pounding its chest and opening its mouth in a roar, the sculpture is estimated to garner $4 to $6 million when it hits the auction block at nearby Christie's on Nov. 12 — one of 73 items that will be put up for sale.

Tipping the in at nearly 3 tons, security around the 8-foot-tall beast was light Wednesday.

"Who's going to take it?" a security guard said. "The main thing is to make sure no one messes with it."

Passersby stopped to snap photos, pound their chests or, upon seeing the price tag, emit a whistle.

"I tried to put him in my pocket, but he wouldn't fit," joked Sumant Mukho, 30, a finance worker from Staten Island. "I don't know where I'd put him."

Margaret Murtha, 75, and her husband, Stanley Imbriaco, 68, visiting from Toms River, N.J., also paused as they walked past the beast.

"It's different," Murtha said. "I like something more peaceful and calm, and he looks angry."

Imbriaco speculated the reason could be Tuesday night's mayoral election. "He's a Republican," he said with a laugh.

"Gorilla" had been in a private collection before being put up for sale. By Friday, it will be joined by a second Koons work, Balloon Dog Orange, scheduled to go on display outside the Christie's office and auction house at 20 Rockefeller Plaza. The estimated price of that piece is $35 to $55 million.