9/11 museum construction back on track

Work on a museum to be built at Ground Zero in New York to pay tribute to victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre, which took place 11 years ago today, is to continue after the resolution of a disagreement over funding for the project.

Had work gone ahead on the project without interruption, the museum would have been scheduled to open on today’s anniversary, but despite the delays, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has now been able to announce that the work is set to continue.

The project has been beset with financial wrangles, mainly involving a fee of GBP187.3million requested by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the Ground Zero site. The authority was claiming the money for additional design and construction beyond what had been specified in the original plans. The project trustee, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum Foundation, had decided to delay construction until the wrangle had been resolved.

According to mayor Bloomberg, ‘a memorandum of understanding’ has now been issued, and he commented, ‘my goal during this period has been to get construction on the museum restarted. This agreement ensures that it will be restarted very soon and will not stop until the museum is completed.’

It is understood that the terms of the memorandum involve the museum opening in phases, with increasing public access. Admission to the museum is expected to cost USD20, and when finished it will have 110,000 square feet of exhibition space, with exhibits including personal property that belonged to some of the 3,000 victims that was collected from the ruined buildings in the aftermath of the attack.