Ground zero art exhibit featuring Saudi flag to be moved
NEW YORK (AP) — An art exhibit installed on the grounds of the World Trade Center that features a giant candy sculpture wrapped in the Saudi flag will be relocated following complaints from 9/11 victims groups, the agency that oversees the site said Monday.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey confirmed the exhibit “Candy Nations” will be moved to the Kennedy Airport AirTrain system this week.
“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 said in a statement. “We believe this solution respects the unique sensitivities of the site and preserves the artistic integrity of the exhibit.”
Each of the candy sculptures in the exhibit, crafted by French artist Laurence Jenkell and shown in more than 25 countries, features flags from countries in the G-20 summit.
A coalition of family members of 9/11 victims and survivors released a statement Monday saying the exhibit’s relocation “is the right thing to do.”
“The sculpture’s presence at this site, depicting the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) flag, is an outrageous affront to the 9/11 community and all other Americans who seek justice for the attacks on our nation on September 11, 2001,” the 9/11 group said.
Nearly 3,000 people died when hijacked planes slammed into the original trade center towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field. Fifteen of the 19 attackers were Saudis.
Hundreds of victims’ relatives and injured survivors have sued the Saudi government, saying its employees knowingly assisted hijackers who carried out the attacks.
The Saudi government has long denied any involvement in the attacks.