9/11 relics said deteriorating

Dec. 19, 2003 at 9:13 AM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Conservationists say the historically powerful ruins of New York's World Trade Center are being allowed to rapidly deteriorate.

Locked behind the mammoth doors of hangar 17 at Kennedy International Airport is the collection of 700 or so relics from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- relics the finalists in the design competition for the trade center memorial have, for the most part, decided to ignore, the New York Times said Friday.

It also is the collection some prominent conservationists say is being allowed to permanently degrade because of deficiencies in temperature and humidity control.

"This is a textbook example of how bad storage conditions can affect the preservation of an object," said Tom Chase, president of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, and a specialist in the conservation of metals. "It is just awful."

Port Authority officials defend the effort to preserve these objects and encourage their use in any permanent memorial or museum.

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