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Ground zero art exhibit featuring Saudi flag to be moved

  • 15 Jan 2019

Nearly 3,000 people died when hijacked planes slammed into the original World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field. Fifteen of the 19 attackers were Saudis.

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, drew criticism for its placement outside 1 World Trade Center. ( Johannes EISELE / AFP )

An art exhibit installed on the grounds of the World Trade Center that features a giant candy sculpture wrapped in the Saudi flag will be relocated following complaints from 9/11 victims groups, the agency that oversees the site said Monday.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey confirmed the exhibit "Candy Nations" will be moved to the Kennedy Airport AirTrain system this week.

"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 said in a statement. "We believe this solution respects the unique sensitivities of the site and preserves the artistic integrity of the exhibit."

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. The art installation will be moved to the Kennedy Airport AirTrain system this week. January 14, 2019.(AFP)

Each of the candy sculptures in the exhibit, crafted by French artist Laurence Jenkell and shown in more than 25 countries, features flags from countries in the G-20 summit.

A coalition of family members of 9/11 victims and survivors released a statement Monday saying the exhibit's 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 9/11 group said.

Nearly 3,000 people died when hijacked planes slammed into the original trade centre towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field. Fifteen of the 19 attackers were Saudis.

Hundreds of victims' relatives and injured survivors have sued the Saudi government, saying its employees knowingly assisted hijackers who carried out the attacks.

The Saudi government has long denied any involvement in the attacks.

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