Monday 16th of May 2022

reflecting hubris .....

‘Recently, a number - one billion
- in the
New York Times
stopped me in my tracks. According to a report
commissioned by the foundation charged with building Reflecting
, the memorial to the dead in the attack on the World Trade
Center, its projected cost is now estimated at about a billion dollars and
still rising. According to Oliver Burkeman of the
British Guardian
, "Taking inflation into account, $1bn would be
more than a quarter of the original cost of the twin towers that were destroyed
in 2001." 

For that billion, Reflecting
Absence is to have two huge "reflecting pools" - "two voids that
reside in the original footprints of the Twin Towers" - fed by waterfalls
"from all sides" and surrounded by a "forest" of oak trees;
a visitor will then be able to descend 30 feet to galleries under the falls
"inscribed with the names of those who died." There is to be an
adjacent, 100,000 square-foot underground memorial museum to "retell the
events of the day, display powerful artifacts, and celebrate the lives of those
who died." All of this, as
the website
for the memorial states, will be meant to vividly convey
"the enormity of the buildings and the enormity of the loss." Not
surprisingly, the near billion-dollar figure does not even include $80 million
for a planned visitor's center or the estimated $50-60 million annual cost of
running such an elaborate memorial and museum.’ 

The Billion Dollar