Cops Look for Whoever Hung Putin Banner From NYC Bridge
The 600-square-foot banner labeled Putin a 'peacemaker'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2016 6:28 PM CDT
A banner bearing an image of Vladimir Putin hangs from New York's Manhattan Bridge on Thursday.   (Nathan Tempey/ via AP)

(Newser) – New Yorkers were surprised to see a huge banner of Vladimir Putin hanging from the Manhattan Bridge Thursday afternoon, the New York Post reports. The approximately 600-square-foot banner featured a picture of Putin in front of the Russian and Syrian flags with the word "peacemaker." Police removed it after about two hours. And while the banner drew eyeballs, it may not have gotten its message across. "We were all confused about what this is supposed to be saying or expressing—it’s not very clear,” says Quinn Formel, who works in an office facing the bridge. "Nobody really got it," adds Heath Raymond, who also works near the bridge.

No arrests have been made, and police are reviewing surveillance footage from on and around the bridge in an attempt to identify whoever hung the Putin banner, CBS New York reports. "There are no details on why or who, it has to be investigated," a police spokesperson tells Reuters. Witnesses say at least two people appeared to be responsible for hanging the banner. “These two guys...they were struggling for a little bit, but eventually got it up,” Formel tells the Post. According to Gothamist, the banner could be connected with a pop-up shop that was selling Peacemaker Putin merchandise in 2014.