Friday, September 30, 2005

9/11 'freedom museum' plan scrapped

Plans for a "freedom museum" at the World Trade Centre site in New York were today abandoned after the project provoked intense opposition from families of September 11 victims.

The governor of New York, George Pataki, said the proposed museum had aroused "too much opposition ... too much controversy", and so he had refused permission for it to be built.

The organisation behind the project said it was not interested in finding another home for the proposed International Freedom Centre and considered the idea to be finished after four years of planning.

The International Freedom Centre had been intended to celebrate US ideals of freedom, containing exhibits on leaders such as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King.

Documents including the Declaration of Independence and the South African constitution were also to have been part of the project.

The proposed museum would have contained a section on the world's response to the 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington.

However, a separate memorial museum devoted solely to 9/11 - entirely underground and within the foundations of the World Trade Centre - was already being planned.

The relatives of some September 11 victims feared the International Freedom Centre - was to have been in the south-west corner of the World Trade Centre site, an area containing the "footprints" of the twin towers - could detract from or overshadow the "official" 9/11 museum.

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