Liberty Park opening at World Trade Center raises question of Koenig Sphere’s placement

The opening of the World Trade Center’s Liberty Park has renewed debate around the home of the Koenig Sphere.

On Wednesday, Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye announced at the opening of one-acre, elevated green space that he would like to move the sphere into the park, which overlooks the 9/11 Memorial.

The metallic sculpture, designed by German sculptor Fritz Koenig, became a symbol of resilience after withstanding the 9/11 attacks at its original location between the Twin Towers.

With its scars on display, the bronze globe was moved to a temporary site in Battery Park, where it’s sat since 2002 among speculation about a permanent residence.

Foye’s idea has ruffled feathers of The Twin Towers Alliance, a Port Authority watchdog group, which would like to see the sculpture more prominently located in the memorial plaza itself.

“It’s a beautiful little park. Yes, people are going to go there but it’s primarily going to be New Yorkers on their lunch break, not people who are visiting the site to pay their respects,” said Richard Hughes, of the alliance. “That’s the whole problem — they’re trying to take 9/11 out of the site.”

Foye’s comment Wednesday went against remarks he made years earlier, in which he too said he favored returning the sphere to the memorial plaza.

“[The memorial plaza] is still my preference, but I think Liberty Park is a suitable home for the sphere,” said Foye after a board meeting Thursday, noting its relation to the St. Nicholas Church, which is currently being rebuilt in the park.

“The leadership of the Greek orthodox church enthusiastically welcomes the Koenig Sphere.”