9/11 sculpture made from twisted steel column finds home in London
After two years of opposition from “boroughs and bureaucrats”, mayor promises to install the work permanently in Olympic Park
By Javier Pes. Web only
Published online: 10 September 2013
A piece of public sculpture commemorating the victims of the 11 September attacks in New York that incorporates a twisted steel column from the World Trade Center has been promised a permanent home in London’s Olympic Park by the Mayor of London, after a two-year-long search for a site.
The work After 9/11 by the US-based artist Miya Ando was commissioned by the educational charity, 9/11 London Project. When first unveiled temporarily in London’s Battersea Park, the work proved controversial. Some of the victim’s families objected to the use of material from the 9/11 site. Others, including Thomas Von Essen, who was the New York City Fire Commissioner at the time of the attacks and attended the unveiling in 2011, supported the work, although seeing the twisted girders brought back painful memories.
Ando was commissioned to make the piece with steel that was donated by the Port Authority of New and New Jersey. Happy that it has found a home, having been saddened by reports that it was badly stored for a time, she says: “My intention was to take a found piece of the towers and polish it so that it would reflect light back” and thereby honour the victims of 9/11.
The chairman of 9/11 London Project, Peter Rosengard, says that the Olympic Park is “a very appropriate” place for the work, stressing the charity’s work with young people in the UK to teach the lessons of the terrorist attack. Previously he called the struggle to site the piece permanently an “insult” to those who died.
The Mayor of London told the Evening Standard newspaper: “Finding a permanent home for [the sculpture] has proved incredibly difficult, whether it be opposition from boroughs or bureaucrats. Clearly this can’t continue”. One of the sites proposed and then blocked was next to City Hall.
Meanwhile, the first solo exhibition of Miya Ando's work in London is due to open on 16 September at The Horsebox Gallery (until 11 October).
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