After a summer of furious and steadily rising criticism, Gov. George E. Pataki announced today that he was evicting the proposed International Freedom Center museum from its place next to the World Trade Center memorial site. With that, the center declared itself to be out of business.Oh, I couldn't agree more.
"The I.F.C. cannot be located on the memorial quadrant," Mr. Pataki said in a statement issued shortly before 5 p.m. That quadrant, at the southwest corner of the trade center site, contains the footprints of the twin towers. It is regarded by many as sacred ground, too hallowed for a museum dealing with 9/11 in the context of greater geopolitics and social history.
"There remains too much opposition, too much controversy over the programming of the I.F.C.," the governor said, "and we must move forward with our first priority, the creation of an inspiring memorial." Mr. Pataki said he had instructed the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to "work with the I.F.C. to explore other locations."
But 42 minutes later, the center said in its own statement that there was no other location to explore, since the memorial quadrant was "the site for which the I.F.C. was created, at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's request, and as an integral part of Daniel Libeskind's master site plan."
"We do not believe there is a viable alternative place for the I.F.C. at the World Trade Center site," the center's executives, Tom A. Bernstein, Peter W. Kunhardt and Richard J. Tofel, said in the statement. "We consider our work, therefore, to have been brought to an end." The Freedom Center was designated for the site in June 2004.
Pataki Bars Museum From World Trade Center Memorial Site - New York Times