Groundbreaking “Portal” Sculptures Forge Real-Time Visual Bridge Between New York City and Dublin

Press Releases

May 8, 2024

 Newly unveiled public technology sculptures bring together people of two iconic cities, transcending physical barriers 

(New York City, NY) – May 8, 2024 – In a special event spanning two continents, today officials in New York City and Dublin, Ireland simultaneously debuted two groundbreaking public technology sculptures—NYC Portal and Dublin Portal—collectively called “The Portal.” Conceived as a testament to the power of art to transcend physical barriers, The Portal forms an unprecedented visual bridge between these two iconic cities. Each sculpture features a 24/7 visual livestream from the Portal in the other city, allowing real-time interaction between New Yorkers, Dubliners, and visitors to these two global destinations. 

NYC Portal is located on the Flatiron South Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street, next to the famed Flatiron Building, and is presented by the Flatiron NoMad Partnership in collaboration with the Simons Foundation and New York City Department of Transportation Art Program (NYC DOT Art). Today’s launch event in New York featured remarks by NYC Chief Public Realm Officer Ya-Ting Liu, NYC Department of Transportation Art Director Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy, and a captivating performance by PMT House of Dance. 

Dublin Portal faces the capital’s main street, O’Connell Street, and captures the iconic vista of both Dublin’s famous GPO building and the Spire together. Dublin City Council have delivered the sculpture as part of its designation as the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2024. The Portal was unveiled today by The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daithí De Róiste, and included a performance by The Liberties Majorettes in a nod to the New York connection. 

The Portal connection between New York City and Dublin will run through the fall of 2024. Throughout that time, there will be scheduled programming, including cultural performances at each city’s Portal that will be enjoyed by people in the other city via the livestream. Programming will kick-off in mid-May with a visual program to celebrate New York Design Week Festival. 

“We are honored to host the Portal’s North American debut on the Flatiron Public Plazas, at one of New York City’s most dynamic intersections,” said James Mettham, President of the Flatiron NoMad Partnership. “This real-time connection between two iconic public spaces in global cities on either side of the Atlantic will bring people together, both physically and digitally, becoming a captivating attraction for New Yorkers and visitors alike.” 

“Two amazing global cities, connected in real-time and space. That is something you do not see every day!” said New York City Chief Public Realm Officer Officer Ya-Ting Liu. “We are so excited to have The Portal as a public interactive art installation, showcasing the vibrancy of our city streets and providing a new point for human connection between New Yorkers and Dubliners.  We thank the City of Dublin, NYC DOT Art Program, the Flatiron NoMad Partnership, and the Simons Foundation for bringing this vision to life.”  

“It is a delight to celebrate the opening of this captivating installation and see two vibrant global cities connected in real time,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We encourage New Yorkers and tourists alike to visit The Portal and experience this unique shared encounter across the Atlantic. We are grateful to the City of Dublin, the Flatiron NoMad Partnership, and the Simons Foundation for bringing this vision to fruition.” 

“Portals are an invitation to meet people above borders and differences and to experience our world as it really is—united and one. The livestream provides a window between distant locations, allowing people to meet outside of their social circles and cultures, transcend geographical boundaries, and embrace the beauty of global interconnectedness,” said Portals founder and artist Benediktas Gylys.” 

“One of my key aims as Lord Mayor is to make the City more inclusive. The Portals project embodies this, bringing together technology, engineering and art to bring communities from across the world closer together and to allow people to meet and connect outside of their social circles and cultures. We are delighted to connect Dublin with New York which we share a deep historical and cultural bond with. From July the Dublin Portal will also connect to other global city destinations in Poland, Brazil and Lithuania. I would encourage Dubliners and visitors to the City to come and interact with the sculpture and extend an Irish welcome and kindness to cities all over the world. This project is an example of one of the many exciting things to expect in Dublin during 2024 as part of our EU Capital of Smart Tourism Designation,” said The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daithí de Róiste. 

“We are thrilled to play a part in providing New Yorkers with an awe-inspiring opportunity to connect with people in another major global city through science and technology,” said David Spergel, President of the Simons Foundation. 

The Portal is made possible through the collaborative efforts of Flatiron NoMad Partnership, Simons Foundation, NYC DOT Art, Dublin City Council, the EU Capital of Smart Tourism, and team.

About The Flatiron NoMad Partnership
The Flatiron NoMad Partnership, formed in 2006, is a non-profit organization and business improvement district that serves the businesses, people, and places that help make Flatiron and NoMad two of Manhattan’s most iconic and authentic destinations. Home to a range of retailers and employers, cultural and educational institutions, and a thriving residential community, the district is a center of activity. The Partnership serves as a dedicated steward and supporter of public life in the district by maintaining a clean and safe environment; spearheading area improvement projects; and marketing and championing the diverse business and retail options in this vibrant and historic neighborhood. 
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About Simons Foundation
The Simons Foundation is a philanthropic organization dedicated to advancing the frontiers of basic science through grantmaking, in-house research and public engagement. The foundation’s Science, Society & Culture division provides opportunities for all people to forge a connection to science. Through its broad portfolio of programs, the division works to inspire a feeling of awe, wonder and belonging. It supports programs that reflect the beauty of process, the importance of innovation and the transformative power of always asking “why?”


Portals are an invitation to meet fellow humans above borders and prejudices and to experience our home – planet Earth – as it really is: united and one. Based in Lithuania, partners with cities, governments, and private organizations to build Portals worldwide. Since their inauguration in 2021, connecting Vilnius, Lithuania, and Lublin, Poland, Portals have grown into a global network that serves as a bridge to a united planet.

About NYC DOT Art

The New York City Department of Transportation Art Program (NYC DOT Art) partners with community-based not-for-profit organizations and professional artists to present temporary public art on NYC DOT property throughout the five boroughs for up to eleven months. Artists transform streets with colorful murals, dynamic projections, and eye-catching sculptures. A variety of public spaces serve as canvases for temporary arts, including sidewalks, fences, triangles, medians, bridges, jersey barriers, step streets, public plazas, and pedestrianized spaces. Since 2008, NYC DOT Art has produced nearly 450 temporary artworks citywide. For more information, visit, @nyc_DOTArt, @nyc_DOT. 

About Dublin City Council 

Dublin City Council is at the heart  of everything that happens in  the city. We have a long and proud tradition of serving the public  and leading the direction, growth and development of the City.  The City Council comprises 63 elected members. In partnership with the Elected Members, and partner agencies and organisations in the City,  the Council team of 5,900 staff deliver over 520 different services to Dublin’s citizens, businesses and visitors.  

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