Saudi flag art sculpture at hallowed World Trade Center grounds to be moved after backlash

A sculpture with the flag of Saudi Arabia(R), part of an exhibit called 'Candy Nations' is pictured outside next to the Oculus, one of the buildings that replaced the original World Trade Center on January 14, 2019 in New York City. - Candy Nations depicting the flags of each of the G20 countries as 9-foot-tall wrapped confections, has drawn criticism for its placement outside 1 World Trade Center. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo credit JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

America has changed plenty since 19 radical Islamic extremists, to include 15 terrorists from Saudi Arabia, launched the horrific 9/11 terrorist attack that claimed nearly 3,000 lives — but not as you might expect.

Less than 20 years later, on the hallowed ground where most of the victims died, the grounds of the World Trade Center, a huge candy sculpture wrapped in the Saudi flag was put on display, according to The Washington Times.

The sculpture was placed next to the Oculus, a transit hub, plaza and shopping mall adjacent to the memorial site for the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

The flag includes the Arabic inscription of the religious creed of Islam. According to Google Translate, it reads: “There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

(Other translations replace “Allah with “God.”)

Either way, the display cannot be a comforting sight for family members of 9/11 victims.

Fortunately, and somewhat surprisingly in post-Obama America, after complaints from some of these family members, common sense prevailed and the art exhibit will be moved to the Kennedy Airport AirTrain system this week, The Times reported.

“We have been in contact with the 9/11 Memorial and various stakeholders, and in full collaboration with the artist will relocate the exhibit from its current location,” the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a statement. “We believe this solution respects the unique sensitivities of the site and preserves the artistic integrity of the exhibit.”

Why this respect wasn’t accorded before the “Candy Nations” art exhibit was put in place remains a mystery.

A coalition of 9/11 family members and survivors said in a statement the relocation “is the right thing to do.”

“The sculpture’s presence at this site, depicting the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) flag, is an outrageous affront to the 9/11 community and all other Americans who seek justice for the attacks on our nation on September 11, 2001,” the coalition said, according to The Times.

https://twitter.com/amadanwill/status/1085183563178270722

As reported by the liberal fact checking sight Snopes, the art display is from French contemporary artist Laurence Jenkell and includes a total of 20 nine-foot-tall, 1,450-pound candy sculptures, each wrapped in the flag of one the G20 nations — Saudi Arabia is a G20 member.

While the fact checkers squabble over whether the sculpture honors Saudi Arabia, the reaction online was summed up well by Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, who called a spade a spade.

“A statue honoring Saudi Arabia has been placed on the ground zero World Trade Center site. The country that funded, planned, and orchestrated 9/11 now has a statue honoring their evil ways just feet from where 3,000 Americans died. This is a national disgrace,” he tweeted.

Tom Tillison

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