Dublin portal is woken up with restricted hours and new measures to curb antisocial behaviour

In less than a week of operation, the Portal has attracted tens of thousands of visitors and garnered nearly two billion online impressions

The portal between Dublin and New York City has reopened but the transatlantic link between the two cities will only be active for set hours during the day in order to restrict the level of antisocial behaviour the installation attracts.

Dublin City Council, Portals.org and the Flatiron NoMad woke up the Portal, which has been “sleeping” for days, at 2pm Irish time and said from now on it would only be active between 11am and 9pm Irish time.

The Irish side of the portal faces on to O’Connell Street with both the GPO and the Spire visible while the New York side is located on the Flatiron South Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd St.

In less than a week of operation, the Portal has attracted tens of thousands of visitors and garnered nearly two billion online impressions.

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However, the novel project has not been incident free with people on both sides of the Atlantic standing accused of exposing various parts of their bodies to people thousands of kilometres away and winding each other up by holding up pictures of the World Trade Center in flames and images of potatoes to bring to mind the Famine.

In a statement Dublin City Council said the “overwhelming majority of people who have visited the Portal sculptures have experienced the sense of joy and connectedness that these works of public art invite people to have”.

In a statement it stressed that the sculptures are “not meant to be touched or stepped upon” and announced that it had “taken steps to limit instances of people stepping on the Portal and holding phones up to the camera lens”.

What has been described as a “proximity-based solution” has been added to the installation and if anyone steps on the Portal and obstruct the camera, it will trigger a blurring of the live-stream for everyone on both sides of the Atlantic. “The team will continue making updates as needed to ensure that everyone can continue to enjoy the Portal, the statement said.

The New York site will continue to have on-site security during all hours of operation, as it has had since the Portal debuted.

Additionally, fencing has been installed in front of the New York Portal and more signage and spacing decals have been added to assist with crowd management and guide visitors to the optimal spots for interacting with the Portal.

For the Dublin site, physical design features are being implemented to assist with crowd management.

“As humans we are creating the Portals experience together,” said the creator Benediktas Gylys. “I invite local communities not only to enjoy but to care about their Portals and how other community members are approaching the sculptures.”

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor