As nations, the USA and Russia have often found themselves on different sides of various socio-political philosophies. And at times, an uneasy peace seems to exist between the two greatest nuclear powers the world has ever known. But despite all obstacles, the people of Russia reached out to Americans with a gesture of hope and kindness when President Putin dedicated an extraordinary monument as a gift in honor of those who perished in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
“To The Struggle Against World Terrorism” is a 100 foot high, bronze sculpture conceived of by Russian artist Zurab Tsereteli. Zurab is the President of the Russian Academy of Arts and Director of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (among other things).
I suppose that only a man in a position such as this wields the necessary power to convince a government and it’s people to get behind a gift of this magnitude. Its certainly akin to the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France.
The “The Tear of Grief memorial” as it’s come to be called, is located in Bayonne, New Jersey across the water, 10 miles from the site of the twin towers and within view of the Statue of Liberty. The sculpture is in the form of a 100-foot (30 m) tower made of steel and coated in bronze, split with a jagged opening through the middle.
Inside the opening hangs a large stainless-steel teardrop, 40 feet (12 m) high, in memory of those whose lives were lost during terrorist attacks in the United States. The eleven sides of the monument’s base bear granite name plates, on which are etched the names of those that died in the September 11 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Tsereteli has not disclosed the cost of the sculpture except to say that he was paying for labor and materials. A lawyer for the sculptor released the cost of the figure at about $12 million. This being the case, I’m not really sure how much of the cost was born by the Russian people, vs. Tsereteli himself. But hopefully they’ll work that out in the traditional Russian fashion…
The following photos are courtesy of Joseph Hoetzl
And there are more on Flickr if you want to see them.
Here is the official Web site, but it’s quite weak so not really worth a visit at this moment.