Giant poster of Putin hung from Manhattan bridge … but no one knows why

A giant banner with a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the word “Peacemaker” has been unfurled from a New York City landmark. The appearance of the mysterious poster, measuring 20ft by 30ft, hanging from the side of Manhattan Bridge, is being investigated by police. Officers took down the banner a short time after being alerted to its presence on Thursday afternoon. Surveillance footage on the bridge and in nearby areas is being examined in a bid to trace those responsible.

We were just at our desks, we have some large windows from our office and we just saw it going up. These two guys … they were struggling for a little bit, but eventually got it up

Onlooker Quinn Formel, 27

The stunt comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow over Ukraine and Syria and on the eve of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize. But most onlookers were baffled by its appearance. Office workers described how they watched two men struggling with the banner as they put it up on the bridge. Production studio executive Heath Raymond said: “I turned around. I was in my office and it was just hanging there. Everybody thought it was interesting, but nobody really got it. Nobody understood the political message or whatever message was behind it.“

This Vladimir Putin banner dangling on Manhattan Bridge is equally as disturbing as the numerous clowns that are showing up in random places

One Twitter user