World Trade Center steel in London
A sculpture by the New York artist Miya Ando uses wreckage from the 11 September attacks
By Cristina Ruiz. Web only
Published online: 08 September 2011
A sculpture fashioned from the mangled steel wreckage of the World Trade Center has been unveiled in London this week to mark the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York.
The 28-ft-high work by the New York-based artist Miya Ando, entitled After 9/11, has been placed temporarily in a secluded angle of Battersea Park, south of the river Thames while a permanent home for it is sought.
Plans to position the sculpture in a much more prominent position outside London’s City Hall were shelved following complaints from the victims’ families.
Hannah Ali, whose sister died in the World Trade Center's north tower, told the Guardian newspaper earlier this year that she could not understand how anyone could even consider transforming girders which had "bodies strewn on them" into a work of art.
Ando who was in London to attend the sculpture’s unveiling said she hoped it would “evoke a quiet yet strong message of transcendence”.
Also at the unveiling was Thomas Von Essen, who was the New York City Fire Commissioner at the time of the attacks. He told reporters that seeing the twisted girders brought back painful memories.
“We couldn’t move them, no matter how many men pulled them, we couldn’t move them…so I see a lot of pain when I look at [the sculpture]. I see men that were crushed by [the girders] and a beautiful building that came down around thousands of wonderful, innocent people.”
The girders were donated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Although hundreds of British organisations had requested salvaged remains of the Twin Towers, a spokesman for the Port Authority said that only two requests had been approved. In addition to the girders on display in London, a seven-metre section of steel will go on show at the Imperial War Museum in Manchester as part of a display on 9/11.
According to the Port Authority, World Trade Center steel has also been sent to every state in America to be used as “each community sees fit” and to a number of other countries including Canada, France, Germany and Italy.
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