FINANCIAL DISTRICT — The iconic 9/11 sphere has moved to a new spot in Battery Park to make way for construction of a $15 million green space amid a continuing debate about where its permanent home should be.
Fritz Koenig's 25-foot-tall bronze sculpture — which was pulled from the wreckage of the World Trade Center and became a symbol of hope and resilience following the 9/11 attacks — was moved about 550 feet west on Wednesday evening, closer to Castle Clinton, Parks Department spokesman Philip Abramson said in an email.
The short move came after years of debate about where the globe would ultimately land. Mayor Michael Bloomberg had said that he wants to keep the large, dented sphere in the park, but some 9/11 family members want it returned to the World Trade Center site, possibly to the new Liberty Park.
Chris Valens, a spokesman for the Port Authority, which owns the sphere, declined to comment on when or where the sculpture would eventually relocate, but did say that the Port Authority was unaware of the recent move, and called the relocation "unauthorized."
This week's move, first spotted by FiDi Fan Page, will allow for continued work on the Battery Green, a new 3-acre oval, across from Bowling Green, as well as a larger 12-acre renovation of the park, Abramson said.
The 22.5-ton globe was relocated by the same contractor, Robert L. Gerosa Inc., that first installed the artwork in the park in March 2002, with the short trip costing the city $390,000, Abramson said.
“The sphere, which was reconstructed after being destroyed in the 9/11 attacks, has been moved before within Battery Park and extraordinary care again was used in this short but necessary relocation,” Abramson said in the email.
The eternal flame, which the city installed in front of the sphere in 2002, was moved ahead of the sphere in March to the globe’s current location.
The Battery Conservancy, which manages Battery Park, declined to comment.