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Artwork with Saudi Arabia flag removed from Ground Zero

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105182049 bb10c5d8 fef2 4aa1 9235 fd4dddda200d - Artwork with Saudi Arabia flag removed from Ground Zero


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Reuters

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The artwork was installed in the World Trade Centre complex last month

A sculpture that partly features the Saudi flag is being removed from the site of the 9/11 terror attack.

The artwork, Candy Nations, shows a series of large sweets wrapped in the flags of the G20 nations.

French artist Laurence Jenkell says she wanted to “celebrate mankind” with the work, which she first created in 2011.

But its proximity to Ground Zero in New York was criticised as insensitive. Some hold Saudi Arabia partly responsible for the 2001 attacks.

Following the complaints, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey confirmed that it is moving all 20 sculptures from its current site in the World Trade Center complex.

“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,” a spokesperson tells BBC News.

“We believe this solution respects the unique sensitivities of the site and preserves the artistic integrity of the exhibit.”

It will be moved later this week.

The sculpture, which has been shown in more than 25 countries, was installed in downtown Manhattan last month – where it was due to remain until 28 February.

A victims’ group representing hundreds of families has been embroiled in a long-running battle to sue Saudi Arabia for damages, citing the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers were from that country.

Ms Jenkell, the artist, told US newspaper Observer that she originally wanted to “pay tribute to people of the entire world”.

“Given the unique and justified sensitivities surrounding the World Trade Center, it came to my mind to propose to remove the sculpture showcasing the flag of Saudi Arabia, or relocate it to a less sensitive location,” she added.

“But there is no way I can do such a thing, as the flag of Saudi Arabia is entirely part of the G20, just like any other candy of this Candy Nations show.”



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