9/11 tiles rise again

By Jennifer Fermino New York Post

Ceramic tiles that hung on Seventh Avenue South as a 9/11 memorial for 11 years after the attacks will be on display again in the West Village, starting today.

Pieces of the “Tiles for America” project — which was removed following a spat between its owners and the locals who were tending to it — will be exhibited on the first floor of the Jefferson Market Library, just blocks from its original location.

“To have them in another village landmark is very healing,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who helped bring the commemorative tiles to the library for the display. “These tiles, both symbolically and visually beautiful, serve as a memorial to those who perished on 9/11, and are a tribute to the compassion and strength of our city.”

The exhibit –- which Quinn will unveil today along with other elected officials and 9-11 family groups — will be up for about a year.

Thousands of individually hand-crafted tiles made by artists all over the country had been hanging on a fence at an empty lot owned by the MTA from September 12, 2001 until last fall.

The MTA plans to add a ventilation plant on that site, which would have forced the tiles to be moved temporarily during construction.

But before that began, a coalition of Village residents who had been tending to them abruptly took the tiles down, following a dispute with the Contemporary Ceramics Studios Association.

That Tennessee-based group had been collecting the tiles from its members and sending them to New York to be displayed on the fence.

The two sides were at odds over where the tiles should be hung during the MTA construction.

The CCSA’s Kami Hatley said she is happy that the tiles will be back where they began.

“I would like to thank City Council Speaker Quinn and the Jefferson Market Library for their support in keeping these tiles in the community,” she said in a statement. “Speaking for all pottery studios internationally, as well as our customers that contributed the tiles, we are grateful to you for continuing this memorial.”

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