Exhibit to move to JFK International Airport after criticism of sculpture representing Gulf kingdom at site of 9/11 attacks
A display of sculptures is being pulled from the World Trade Center after critics objected to the presence of one that represents Saudi Arabia at the site of the 9/11 attacks.
The two-meter polyester resin artwork depicting a giant candy wrapped in the green Saudi flag is part of an exhibit entitled “Candy Nations,” representing the G20 nations. Put together in 2011, the installation has already been shown in several countries, as well as elsewhere in New York. But some observers have been critical of the Saudi flag’s presence in the WTC, home to a memorial for the 3,000 Americans killed in the 9/11 strikes.
Of the 19 hijackers who commandeered four jetliners and crashed into the twin towers in New York, a Pennsylvania field and the Pentagon in Virginia—15 were Saudi nationals.
A U.S. congressional report on the Sept. 11 attacks laid some blame with the U.S. ally, but those passages were never made public, according to Bob Graham, the former senator who co-chaired the commission that produced the report. “We have been in contact with the 9/11 Memorial and various stakeholders, and in full collaboration with the artist will relocate the exhibit from its current location,” the Port Authority, which manages the site, said in a statement.
The entire exhibit is being sent to JFK International Airport, the group added. “We believe this solution respects the unique sensitivities of the site and preserves the artistic integrity of the exhibit,” it added. The move will take place this week.