New York's 9/11 museum to open in May - Museums Association

New York’s 9/11 museum to open in May

Museum's director addresses No Boundaries conference
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Simon Stephens
New York's 9/11 Memorial Museum has been delayed by funding rows, technical problems and even a flood but finally looks set to open this May.

The museum's director, Alice Greenwald, spoke to delegates at Arts Council England's No Boundaries conference in York and Bristol yesterday in a live feed from the US.

“All museums that document events defined by unimaginable personal loss and collective trauma face challenges during the planning stage – the 9/11 museum was no exception,” Greenwald said.

“The work to create the museum took place within the context of intense public scrutiny, divergent expectations of what would be appropriate to present at such an emotionally charged site and the daunting responsibility of constructing a narrative that would codify a history not yet written.”

Greenwald said at each stage of the design process, the museum had to consider what was appropriate to display and the fact that, as 9/11 was relatively recent, people are still traumatised by the event.

“Among the core issues was how to balance commemoration with the imperatives of education, historical documentation and the presentation of information that is both graphic and provocative,” she said.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum will cost $24 to enter, although admission to the 9/11 Memorial, which has attracted 11.5 million people since opening two years ago, will remain free.

The museum and the memorial together cost $700m to construct, with a combined operating budget of $60m a year.

The museum is divided into two main exhibition spaces. In Memorium sits under the footprint of the south tower and commemorates the 2,983 people who were killed in the 9/11 attacks and in the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1983. 

The other main exhibition space, which sits under the footprint of the north tower, looks at the day of the 9/11 attacks, what came before them and how 9/11 continues to affect the world.

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