Iconic Ground Zero Photo: Too Patriotic For Museum?

By Emma Koch

Iconic Ground Zero Photo: Too Patriotic For Museum?

July 29, 2013 Updated Jul 29, 2013 at 10:44 AM EDT

NEW YORK, N.Y. (www.incnow.tv) -- The iconic photo of firefighters raising the American flag in the rubble of the World Trade Center was almost left out of the 9/11 Memorial Museum because the museum’s creative director considered the photograph too “rah-rah America”.

According to a New York Post article, the photo captured by Thomas Franklin will be included after the museum’s chief curator Jan Ramirez proposed a compromise that will minimize the shot in favor of three different photos at three separate angles of the scene.

Creative Directr, Michael Shulan had worked on a photography exhibit called “Here Is New York” in Soho, after 9/11, when he was hired by the museum’s director for his unique approach.

According to Elizabeth Greenspan, author of “Battle for Ground Zero” due out next month, Shulan said “I really believe that the way America will look best, the way we can really do best, is to not be Americans so vigilantly and so vehemently.”

Ramirez said that having several images at multiple points of view helps undercut the myth of one iconic moment. Shulan wasn’t in agreement about the three photos. He says that his concern is that “we not reduce [9/11] down to something that was too simple, and in its simplicity would actually distort the complexity of the event, the meaning of the event.”

Other items to be included or excluded in the museum have sparked debate, such as “the composite” which is a 3-foot-tall, 15-ton composite that contains four or five building stories compressed by pressure and heat into a solid block. Bits of paper and edges of filing cabinets poke out of its surface. It was decided that no human remains or photos of body parts would be included in the museum early on, but the interior contents of “the composite” can’t be confirm without destroying the piece.

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