People are outraged about an art installation at the new World Trade Center because one of the sculptures praises Saudi Arabia and Islam – two of the driving forces behind the 9/11 attacks.
It was revealed last month that the art installation was coming, and this statement from the Port Authority hardly hinted at the controversy to come:
In its continuing efforts to transform the World Trade Center site into a dynamic space in Lower Manhattan, the Port Authority announced that beginning today it will showcase famous candy sculptures around the World Trade Center campus crafted by renowned French artist Laurence Jenkell, Each of the sculptures features flags from countries in the G20 summit, and the art work was commissioned by companies and organizations including the Chanel Foundation, the International Olympic Committee and Coca-Cola.
Oh cool, candy sculptures showing flags from around the world? Why not?
Except, of course, that one of the 20 countries in that group happens to be Saudi Arabia. And Saudi Arabia just happens to be the home of 15 of the 19 hijackers who killed more than 3,000 people on that fateful day. Which would be one thing – a country can’t necessarily be expected to shoulder the blame for the actions of their citizens – but evidence has come out since then that Saudi Arabia played a larger role in the attacks than previously thought. There is right now a lawsuit working its way through the courts – brought by relatives of the victims – that accuses the oil-rich monarchy of actively supporting the terrorists.
To compound matters, the Saudi flag sculpture is accompanied by this inscription: “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is the prophet.”
Yeah. That’s gonna be a no for me, dog.
Imagine the public outcry if the Confederate flag was erected on the site! Can’t we drum up at least that much outrage for a symbol of the very EVIL that resulted in one of the greatest tragedies in American history? Like, who thought this was a good idea? How quickly NEVER FORGET turned into, “Oh, we have to be sensitive to everyone and Islam has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism.” Thanks, Obama.
In a statement to the New York Observer, the artist admitted that he toyed with the idea of removing the Saudi Arabia part of his art installation when it came to New York.
“I first created flag candy sculptures to celebrate mankind on an international level and pay tribute to People of the entire world,” Jenkell said. “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. 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 flag of this Candy Nations show.”
That’s fine. But maybe the Port Authority should have thought twice about featuring this art show at all.