Just a few weeks after the long-awaited Liberty Park opened its doors to the public, the Port Authority has announced that the Park will serve as a resting spot for an iconic sculpture that survived the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the New York Times first reported.
The Koenig Sphere as the sculpture is known stood in front of the Twin Towers at the Austin J. Tobin Plaza. It’s named after the German artist Fritz Koenig, who was commissioned by the Port Authority to create it. After the rubble had been cleared following the terrorist attack, people learned that the sculpture had survived and remained largely intact, and has subsequently been seen by many as a symbol of resilience.
"The Sphere is a symbol of strength and survival and reflects the Port Authority’s continuing commitment to remember those, including 84 agency employees, who were lost 15 years ago and those who survived the terrible attacks at the World Trade Center site," John Degnan, the chairman of the Port Authority said in a statement.
The sculpture was moved following the attacks, and since 2002 it has remained at Battery Park. There have been calls to move and incorporate the sculpture into the National 9/11 Memorial, but the Memorial rejected that idea. The conservancy managing Battery Park does not want it either, citing a large presence of memorials in the park, and the Sphere’s incompatibility with the Park’s future.
The reconstruction of the World Trade Center site means the sculpture can’t go back to its original spot, but the 25-foot-tall and 25-ton sculpture will now be located next to the St. Nicholas National Shrine, and will overlook the Memorial.