The museum faced financing squabbles and construction challenges. Conflicts over its content underlined the sensitivity of memorializing the dead while honoring survivors and rescuers, of balancing the intimate with the international.
Holocaust and war memorials have confronted some of the same questions. But the 9/11 museum exemplifies the work it takes to "develop a museum program amidst this range of powerful feelings and differing individuals and issues that get raised," said
The museum harbors both personal possessions and artifacts that became public symbols of survival and loss. There is the battered "survivors' staircase" that hundreds used to escape the burning skyscrapers, the memento-covered last column removed during the ground zero cleanup and the cross-shaped steel beams that became an emblem of remembrance. (An atheists' group has sued, so far unsuccessfully, seeking to stop the display of the cross).
Portraits and profiles describe the nearly 3,000 people killed by the
The museum also looks at the lead-up to
Members of the museum's interfaith clergy advisory panel raised concerns that it plans to show a documentary film, about
The museum and the memorial plaza above it cost a total of
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