Thursday, October 02, 2014

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9/11 Museum to Review Gift Shop Items Sold Amid Scrutiny

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TWC News: 9/11 Museum to Review Gift Shop Items Sold Amid Scrutiny
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After receiving some criticism about questionable merchandise sold in its gift shop, the National 9/11 Memorial Museum in Lower Manhattan has decided to allow some victims' families to review what it puts on its shelves. NY1's Rocco Vertuccio filed the following report.

The National 9/11 Memorial Museum has been getting some good reviews from visitors since its opening earlier this month.

"Touching. Very sad. Real good memory memorial to all of them. It's very nicely done," one visitor told NY1 on Thursday.

However, the gift shop inside the museum is making some visitors uneasy. Money from the items sold in the gift shop help operate the museum. But some say it's inappropriate to sell merchandise on a site where nearly 3,000 people died.

"For reason being it is a sacred place also for the wishes of the people who have remains there that's a touchy subject," said Brian Walsh, whose friend was lost in the 9/11 attacks.

The gift shop sells a wide variety of 9/11 related merchandise that raised eyebrows, from
coffee mugs to umbrellas to tote bags, even plush toys and ties. One controversial item is no longer available - a ceramic plate in the shape of the U.S. with hearts marking where the hijacked planes made impact.

The memorial foundation declined to speak to NY1 on Thursday and would not allow the station's cameras inside to see the merchandise.

Museum representatives did say that 9/11 families on the foundation's board will now be allowed to vet the items on display in the store itself.

In a statement, 9/11 Memorial Museum President Joe Daniels said, "Once the public starts coming in, you learn so much. We in no way presume to get everything right. We will accept that criticism, absolutely."

"As long as it's done tastefully I don't see a problem with it quite honestly," said Tim Perry whose partner survived the 9/11 attacks.

Some who lost loved ones in the attacks are trying to focus on the beauty of the museum and the memorial.

"I think it's a beautiful site, they did a great job. I just hope people from other countries see what it's all about, that's all," said Terence Cleary, whose cousin was lost in the attacks.

Mayor Bill de Blasio would not comment on the inner workings of the museum but did say the foundation needs to be sensitive to the 9/11 families.

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