A sculpture damaged in the September 11 attack on New York’s World Trade Center now stands as a temporary memorial to the terrorists’ victims.
The Sphere, created by German sculptor Fritz Koenig, was moved to Battery Park in March of 2002 and an eternal flame was lit on the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The 25-foot sculpture, originally meant to symbolize world peace through international trade, was first erected in a fountain that stood in the plaza between the trade center’s two towers.
After the attack, the damaged sculpture was recovered from the trade center rubble and placed into storage before it was put on display, with a new base, in the park (a short walk from the trade center site).
The Sphere stands almost in the shadow of a flagpole and base, dedicated in 1926, that honors the establishment of the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam in lower Manhattan.
A dedication on the monument’s west face reads, “On the 22nd of April 1625, the Amsterdam chamber of the West India Company decreed the establishment of Fort Amsterdam and the creation of the adjoining farms. The purchase of the island of Manhattan was accomplished in 1626. Thus was laid the foundation of the City of New York.”
The south face of the flagpole’s base depicts a Dutch trader purchasing Manhattan from a Native American, and also bears a dedication reading, “In testimony of ancient and unbroken friendship, this flagpole is presented to the City of New York by the Dutch people, 1926.”
The east face bears an inscription, in Dutch, that we presume matches the English inscription on the west face.
The north face bears a bas-relief map of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam shortly after its founding.
The monument was created by Dutch sculptor H.A. Van den Eyden.
The Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam surrendered to British forces in 1664, and New Amsterdam was renamed New York.