At 9/11 Museum, Site of the Anniversary’s Memorial, Controversies Past and Present

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum in Lower Manhattan, the host of this morning’s ceremony, isn’t any stranger to controversy, whether or not earlier than its 2014 opening or in latest days.

This week, as they’ve in years previous, native Muslim advocates known as for the removing of one of the museum’s trustees, Debra Burlingame, calling some of her feedback Islamophobic.

“Ms. Burlingame’s long history of making bigoted remarks about Islam and Muslims are simply antithetical to the purpose of the 9/11 Museum,” stated Afaf Nasher, govt director of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a big Muslim civil rights and advocacy group.

Ms. Burlingame, whose brother, Charles Burlingame, was killed when the airplane he was piloting, American Airlines Flight 77, was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, was an outspoken critic of a onetime plan to construct a mosque and cultural middle two blocks from floor zero.

On one other difficulty, museum officers lately introduced that they had been dropping plans for particular exhibitions set for this yr, after a price range disaster throughout the coronavirus pandemic contributed to the nonprofit museum furloughing and shedding a big portion of its employees.

Then there was the flap over “The Outsider,” a documentary launched this month about the museum that features scenes exhibiting museum leaders in battle over the framing of exhibition storylines.

Steven Rosenbaum, who co-directed the movie along with his spouse, Pamela Yoder, stated the museum demanded the removing of quite a few delicate scenes it known as defamatory, which the couple refused.

Now the couple, who donated to the museum an unlimited archive of video footage in change for broad filming entry, needs the footage again as a result of of museum insurance policies that management the utilization of its archival supplies by historians and students, Mr. Rosenbaum stated.

A museum spokeswoman had no touch upon the controversies and a message left along with her for Ms. Burlingame was not returned.

There have been different disputed strikes by the museum, together with its resolution to promote trinkets at its reward store and maintain a cocktail reception for giant donors inside its hallowed partitions.

After a closure in 2020 throughout the pandemic, the museum’s attendance has remained diminished. It canceled plans for its annual Tribute in Light final yr out of social distancing issues, however shortly reversed course and restored the show after protests.