Sphere Of Contention

The Sphere at its original location.

The 9/11 Sphere, that iconic relic of the World Trade Center attack, has been getting the bum’s rush lately. Designed in 1971 by Fritz Koenig, the sculpture once graced Austin J. Tobin Plaza situated between Towers 1 and 2. It was retrieved from the rubble, virtually intact but obviously damaged, and moved to Battery Park in 2002. New Yorkers, victims’ families and visitors alike viewed it as a permanent addition to the park, a permanent tribute to 9/11. However, the Port Authority, the autocratic agency that owned the WTC, viewed it differently.

At Battery Park.

The agency had originally said it would haul the 25-foot sphere to a storage hangar at JFK Airport‘s Hangar where it stores other large 9/11 artifacts by the end of April — but reversed course following a public outcry from many 9/11 families, who feel the sculpture should be returned to its original home, between the Twin Towers, inside what is now the 9/11 Memorial.

Nevertheless, the sphere’s future is still uncertain; the Port Authority, that acts according to its own desires regardless of public concerns, is silent on that issue. Even Mayor Bloomberg came out in support of the sphere. “I think it’s beautiful where it is,” he said recently. “You have people going elsewhere to understand this is something that affected the whole city, not just on the World Trade Center Site.” Ever the politician, Bloomberg also added that he won’t interfere with whatever the Port Authority  decides to do with the sphere.

Currently surrounded with construction fencing and with indecision.

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