Several New Jersey beachgoers created a giant sand sculpture depicting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sitting in a beach chair Tuesday.
The sculpture emerged on a Seaside Heights beach Tuesday following Christie’s decision to visit a state-owned beach with his family Sunday while all state parks and beaches remained closed due to the state government shutdown.
— Brian Thompson (@brian4NY) July 4, 2017
Lifeguards at the beach told NBC News that the sculptors, only known as Larry and Tom, started the sculpture at 9 a.m. and finished around 1 p.m.
The lifeguards added that the two sculptors had created other works on the Seaside Heights beach. In 2016, they reportedly created a sculpture in honor of the 9/11 victims on the 15th anniversary of the tragedy.
The sculpture also had words carved into it such as “Beach Closed,” “I Love New Jersey,” and “July 4th.”
Christie approved a budget to end the three-day government shutdown the same day the sculpture was built.
The governor ordered a government shutdown Friday, citing the state legislature’s failure to pass a budget. All non-essential government services were closed, from state beaches and parks to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
A photographer from the Star-Ledger spotted and photographed Christie sitting in a chair wearing a baseball hat and t-shirt getting some sun on the beach attached to the governor’s summer residence at Island Beach State Park, a state-owned beach.
When a reporter asked Christie Sunday at a press conference whether he got sun, the governor simply replied, “I didn’t get any sun today.”
The governor’s press team backed up the governor by saying his statement was correct “because he had a baseball hat on.”
Christie mocked the press coverage of him sitting with his family on the beach, sarcastically saying that “they will get a Pulitzer” for this “great bit of journalism.”
The governor defended his beach time by noting that his family did not use state services and that the beach adjacent to the governor’s residence was separate from the state park.
“Run for governor, and you can have a residence there,” he told reporters.