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Thread: Jersey City 9/11 Memorial

  1. #1
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Jersey City

    Default Jersey City 9/11 Memorial

    Russian's 9/11 memorial, 9 stories tall, has detractors, but council backs it

    Wednesday, December 17, 2003

    By Jason Fink
    Journal staff writer

    Jersey City officials are scouting locations along the Hudson River waterfront for the choicest spot to build what they hope will be one of the largest abstract sculptures in the area and a permanent fixture of the city's skyline.

    It will also be, city officials and advocates of the plan say, one of the nation's first memorials to bear the names of all the victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    The Russian artist Zurab Tsereteli, who has built large-scale sculptures in several cities around the world, including one outside the United Nations complex in New York, is planning to build a 100-foot-tall, 176-ton bronze obelisk on the Jersey City waterfront, somewhere between the northern edge of Liberty State Park and Exchange Place.

    Rising along the water's edge - or, as one proposal has it, from out of the river itself - Tsereteli's monument, called "To the Struggle Against World Terrorism," will consist of a 100-foot-tall rectangular bronze block with a fissure down the middle.

    Inside the opening will be a teardrop-shaped crystal; the monument's base will be nine large steps inscribed with the names of those who died at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and on American Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

    The sculpture will be financed by the artist himself and by the Russian government, through the support of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.

    Seen by some as a generous, emotionally charged offer from abroad to a nation still recovering from tragedy, supporters of the monument, including Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham, have compared it to the Statue of Liberty.

    Its detractors - which include a growing number of local artists, many of them Russian immigrants - have described the proposal as a sullying of Jersey City's skyline and a bulky obstruction of its world-class views of New York City.

    The 69-year-old Tsereteli, who has years of experience building large public sculptures, is already represented by a New York law firm and has contracted with one of the state's largest construction companies to build the memorial, which because of its size - it will be as tall as a nine-story building - will need to be anchored into bedrock.

    The City Council voted unanimously last week to approve a memorandum of understanding between the city, the artist and Luzhkov, despite the concerns of some on the council about how it will affect the city's views.

    "I'm not opposed to the (sculpture) itself," said City Councilman Mariano Vega, who voted to approve the memorandum. "But I believe that it blocks the view corridor."

    The document approved by the council does not commit the city to accept the gift but is the first step in that direction. At Vega's insistence, language specifying that the memorial would be built at J. Owen Grundy Pier at Exchange Place was removed.

    "We're looking at various spots along the waterfront," said Emily Madoff, Tsereteli's attorney.

    Madoff, who said Tsereteli came up with the idea to build the memorial in Jersey City during a visit to Ground Zero in New York last year, said the artist has taken pains in his preliminary designs to make sure that all sight lines from Jersey City's streets are kept open.

    In addition to the vicinity of Grundy Pier - that proposal would anchor the sculpture to the bottom of the river - city officials have provided renderings that depict the monument at Peninsula Park, a strip of land just north of Liberty State Park along the Morris Canal Basin.

    In either case, those looking at the monument from the Jersey City side would be staring directly at the spot in the Manhattan skyline once dominated by the Twin Towers.

    Because of the monument's anticipated location, approvals must be sought from the state Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has jurisdiction over all navigable waterways.

    "We received some very preliminary information on this and we are waiting for events to unfold," said Richard Tomer, chief of the regulatory branch of the regional Army Corps office.

    Madoff said the plan is to unveil the monument next Sept. 11 but one city official said that is an overly optimistic timeframe, considering that state and federal oversight would likely be required.

    Tsereteli plans to make a cast of the monument in Russia and ship it here in pieces. The city would have to store it until it was built. About $3 million in private funds would then need to be raised for the actual construction and the city would be responsible for its subsequent maintenance.

    The project's detractors have argued that Tsereteli was chosen because he is willing to pay for the project, not because of the merits of his design.

    In the summer of 2002, the Jersey City 9/11 Memorial Committee was formed to solicit design proposals for a permanent memorial on the city's waterfront. Dozens of submissions were mailed to City Hall and several artists complained when, a year later, they had not been contacted about their proposals.

    When it was announced late last summer that Tsereteli had been chosen to build the memorial, many cried foul, claiming there had never really been an open competition.

    City officials later said that Tsereteli's proposal had been considered along with all the others.

    Last week, a petition protesting the monument and signed by 30 Russian artists living in Downtown Jersey City was sent to City Hall.

    "We are thoroughly familiar with . a large body of (Tsereteli's) work in our native Russia and we feel that the long-term aesthetic interests and reputation of the city of Jersey City would be better served without his work," the petition reads.

    Another Downtown artist, William Rodwell, who did not submit a design in the memorial competition, called the sculpture design "banality on a large scale."

    "It's a vanity arts project," Rodwell said.

    Stan H. Eason, a spokesman Cunningham, said the resentment of Tsereteli's project amounted to "sour grapes."

    He said a number of factors, including cost, had been considered when choosing the design.

    "Is there any artist out there who every artist will agree with?" said Eason.

    Copyright 2003 The Jersey Journal.

  2. #2

    Default 9/11 JC memorial

    Well, let's just wait to see the renderings, then let us jersey city "born" be the ones to judge. :twisted:

  3. #3


    An example of the artist Zurab Tsereteli's work-

    Sevilla Spain's Columbus Monument.

    "The Birth of a New Man" is an enormous egg-shaped structure. The scale of the egg is more-or-less shaped by sails with open crosses in it. Inside the egg is a statue of Christopher Columbus holding a map showing his three ships: the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria on a map on their way to discover the new world.
    The monument is the first of an artistic continuation of two. "The Birth of a New Man" depicts the discoverer of America inside an egg. It symbolizes the starting point of Columbus while the second, "The Birth of a New World" in Puerto Rico, will symbolize the seafarer's lifework.

    The scale is inscribed with the names of the three ships and the artist's name: Z. Tsereteli 1995.

    .....the weekend the monument is even more spectacular, since then the fountain around it is working, and during the night it is lighted in different colors.

    A small scale replica is in front of the UNESCO building in Paris.


  4. #4



    It has a Soviet Mounumental quality.

  5. #5
    Forum Veteran
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    New York City


    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp

    It has a Soviet Mounumental quality.
    And the "New Man" bit smacks of Cuban nationalism.

  6. #6
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Manhattan - UWS


    Yeah it is so mid-evil looking structure..Isn't Spain over that after so many years of change...What gives? :shock:

  7. #7
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Jersey City


    This will take you to an image of the sculpture

  8. #8


    thanks for the link!

  9. #9


    I am all in favor a 100 foot monument, but not from this guy. His stuff is just plain ugly.

  10. #10


    June 23, 2004

    City Cools To Russian's Offer Of 100-Foot Sept. 11 Memorial

    Associated Press

    JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- When an internationally known Russian sculptor offered last year to erect a 100-foot-tall Sept. 11 memorial on the waterfront opposite the World Trade Center site, the mayor embraced the idea as befitting a city that lost 40 residents in the attack.

    But with opposition from the city's new mayor and from community groups who consider the teardrop-themed sculpture simplistic and overly imposing, a resolution to accept the offer has been withheld from Wednesday night's City Council meeting, leaving its future in doubt.

    "Jersey City has had a lot of grief to deal with, and I don't know if that is something that the city should embrace," said Acting Mayor L. Harvey Smith, who is also the city council president. "It's not clear to me why someone from Russia would want to do that. And I think the community has expressed themselves clearly about it, and I'm listening."

    The offer to erect the sculpture was announced on Sept. 11, 2003, the attack's second anniversary, by Zurab Tsereteli, whose works include "Good Defeats Evil," a sculpture outside the United Nations headquarters in New York, commemorating the signing of a nuclear weapons treaty between the United States and Russia, and incorporating missile parts.

    The Jersey City proposal is for a rectangular metal block, with a 40-foot glass teardrop suspended within a gaping fissure.

    Tsereteli planned to present the sculpture as a gift from the Russian people, in the spirit of France's gift of the Statue of Liberty, on Liberty Island also in Jersey City, about a mile south of the proposed site of the teardrop memorial.

    Tsereteli has planned to complete the sculpture in St. Petersburg, Russia, and transport it to Jersey City by Sept. 11, 2004. His lawyer, Emily Madoff, said the work is nearing completion.

    Madoff said no taxpayer money would be spent, and that a nonprofit group, Tear of Grief Inc., is raising money for the project. The cost is believed to be several million dollars, though no figure has been set.

    Smith said the council discussed the proposal at a meeting two weeks ago, and agreed that its size and somber nature made it inappropriate.

    "We're trying to move forward with hope," Smith said of the city's ongoing revitalization. "We can't be locked into something that exemplifies something so negative."

    On its Web site, the Harsimus Cove Association, a neighborhood group, criticizes the "overwhelming scale and outsized presence of a 10-story-high sculpture on the city's precious waterfront." The group calls the design "simplistic" and "clichÄed."

    Supporters include Virginia Bauer of Rumson, whose husband, David Bauer, 45, was killed in the attack.

    "I think it's a beautiful and poignant gift," said Bauer, a board member of the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation, the agency in charge of redeveloping the trade center site. "It's right on the waterfront, and there was almost 700 people from New Jersey who perished in the World Trade Center."

    Michael Razzoli, a Jersey City firefighter, said the city should be especially touched that the sculpture would be from another country not directly victimized by the attack.

    "It shows how they were affected," Razzoli said. "Somebody doing this has to be doing it from their heart."

    City Councilwoman Mary Donnelly supports the proposal, but she agreed with Smith that a majority of the council members do not.

    "I think it represents all that we went through at 9/11, all that Jersey City went through," Donnelly said. "We stood up for our flag and helped all those people who had been injured. And we helped New York City."

    Donnelly said she may propose putting the sculpture in Liberty State Park, where there is far more room. But she said there is little chance that any proposal would please everyone.

    "Art is subjective," she said.

    © 2004, Internet Broadcasting Systems, Inc

  11. #11


    The dripping gash:

  12. #12


    June 30, 2004


    A Jersey City Teardrop for 9/11, or a 10-Story Embarrassment?


    Zurab Tsereteli with a model of his proposed Sept. 11 memorial.

    JERSEY CITY, June 29 — Chances are there would have been some degree of opposition sooner or later had anyone suggested building a 10-story, 175-ton nickel-surfaced teardrop suspended within a bronze-clad tower on a pier across the Hudson from the World Trade Center site as a 9/11 memorial.

    But when the artist turns out to be Zurab Tsereteli, a Russian sculptor whose works — like a 300-foot statue of Columbus or a 165-foot Peter the Great — are so controversial that opponents once threatened to wire Peter with explosives and blow him up, another level of tumult is pretty much guaranteed.

    And that's what is happening now. The death of the project's main sponsor, Mayor Glenn Cunningham, and the belated organizing by civic groups are imperiling the project by Mr. Tsereteli, whose idea of a modest enterprise is filling a park in St. Petersburg with 74 life-sized busts of czarist royalty.

    The sculpture, now almost completed in Russia, is being donated, but critics say that the city is still being overcharged, and that it has a chance to stave off embarrassment by saying thanks but no thanks.

    "It's insensitive, it's heavy-handed, it's simplistic, it's a cliché," said Leon Yost, a local artist and one of the vocal critics of the project. "Other than that, what's not to like?"

    But supporters say that the monument is a remarkable statement about international terrorism, donated by the people of Russia, including Vladimir Putin himself, to the people of the United States, and that it would be foolish and ungracious to change course now.

    As one letter writer, Vincent DiPaola, wrote in the local newspaper, The Jersey Journal, on Tuesday: "The question I pose to the City Council is if the year were 1886, would the City Council and acting mayor tell France to keep their Statue of Liberty?"

    For Mr. Tsereteli, 70,the president of the Russian Academy of Arts, who has been a major figure in Soviet and Russian art for decades, controversy is nothing new. Admirers praise his energy and say his work, like his "Good Defeats Evil" sculpture of St. George at the United Nations, has been full of admirable, forward-looking sentiments.

    But some have labeled his work oversized kitsch, and have been particularly critical of the enormous scale of his best-known works of sculpture. When he made the proposal for the statues in St. Petersburg, the local paper reported criticisms of "gigantomania" and quoted an art historian who said the idea of a park full of his "oversized monsters" sent shivers down her spine.

    Still, for such a huge project, the proposed monument seemed to be moving along with surprising ease in Jersey City. Mayor Cunningham, enormously popular, was a big supporter, and the monument committee largely bypassed the normal review process and put its imprimatur on his proposal. Some opposition had been bubbling under the surface, and when Mr. Cunningham died on May 25, critics saw a chance to rethink the city's commitment to the project. Over the last few weeks opponents and neighborhood groups have offered a welter of criticisms. One resident, Anne Barry, sent a letter to Acting Mayor L. Harvey Smith saying the sculpture looked like a woman's vulva. "Please, please, is there nothing to be done to stop this?" she wrote.

    An arts group, Pro Arts Jersey City, called it "an insensitive, self-aggrandizing piece of pompousness by one of the world's blatant self-promoters."

    But Fred Worstell, an engineer handling the site planning for the project, said that given the size of the city waterfront and the ghost memory of the towers, the project had to be big to be effective. He added that, as with all art, some people like it and some don't, just as some like or don't like the gleaming Cesar Pelli tower or the old Art Deco one that help define the city skyline.

    Guy Catrillo, who stepped down recently as a co-chairman of the 9-11 committee, said he felt that the process had been misunderstood and that the monument should not be considered a 9/11 monument, but rather a statement about world terrorism, with the official title "To the Struggle Against World Terrorism."

    Given the fact that Russia and the United States were once enemies and that terrorism has left its footprint on Jersey City, its importance transcends artistic quibbles, Mr. Catrillo said.

    "It's like planting the flag on Iwo Jima, right across the river from where the attacks took place," he said. He conceded that the project's status was unclear, but viewed its prospects in predictably grand terms.

    "In all honesty, it's in God's hands," he said.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  13. #13


    That memorial is horrible. Boring and an eyesore.

    The sentiment is nice - that Russia would give us a memorial - but can't they give us one that isn't just plain fugly?

    I hope the city makes the right choice and rejects this design, and goes back to look at the entries made by artists in a competition two years ago, or holds a new competition.

  14. #14


    Even that creepy statue in spain is better than this ugly thing. Shouldn't they be looking at american archetects instead? Russians don't know how important these memorials are to us. They pobably don't even care about what happend to us on that day giving the bad history between these two nations. Only Americans can feel the pain of these attacks to our nation wich is why we should look at american archetects for 9/11 memorials.

    Is that supose to be a teardrop anyway or what is it supose to be.
    If Jersey City acepts that memorial, it would be very imbaressing. ops:

    I read this thing if aproved will be build right next to the hudson river. This thing is made out of nickle like the statue of liberty wich means this thing will turn green like the statue of liberty sooner or later. I love how the statue of Liberty looks in green but, i can't imagine how ugly that thing will look in green. :mrgreen:

  15. #15
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Manhattan - UWS


    I totally hate the Teardrop for 9/11...what a stupid Idea. :x

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