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15 years later, the only artifact that survived the 9/11 attack has returned to Ground Zero



The only surviving artifact from the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attack has been restored to ground zero after more than 15 years. “Sphere for Plaza Fountain,” a bronze globe created by German artist Fritz Koenig, originally stood between the North and South Twin Towers.

Koenig’s sphere was the only piece of art work that survived the terrorist attack. Michael Burke, whose brother Billy was a fire fighter killed on September 11th, has spent more than a decade lobbying for Koenig’s Sphere to be part of the 9/11 memorial. “When the dust cloud cleared leaving behind the wreckage, there was one artifact left” Burke says. “The sphere that stood between the two towers.”

After “The Sphere” was recovered it was moved to Battery Park (half a mile south of ground zero) and used as temporary memorial. “It sat down there, it kind of got forgotten,” Burke says. “Pigeons used it as a roost, it got covered in Pigeon droppings.”

After years of lobbying, the sphere has been returned to it’s original neighborhood. The Sphere now sits in Liberty Park, overlooking the 9/11 memorial and the exact spot it originally stood. Today Koening’s sculpture is wears the scars of the largest attack on American soil. “It was a pristine bronze gold structure up until September 11th,” Burke says. “And then they found it damaged, scar on top, holes in it.”

“It was made as sturdy strong object that endured,” Burke says. “And that’s just what it did on September 11th.”

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