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Girders for Potters Fields Park

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Current: 7 of 15
Thursday 17 February 2011 12.15pm
Michael Place wrote:
To some people throughout its existence (which will be forever) the proposed 9/11 artwork will be a magnificent celebration of, and memorial to, a highly succesful terrorist operation.

Indeed. However, I suppose the 9/11 Foundation would turn this to its advantage by emphasising the 'educational' aspect of what they propose to do, and saying that it is exactly these kinds of attitude it wants to 'educate' against

Unfortunately, I can't see how the two strands - a monument (I'm sorry, I can't call it 'art', however it is dressed up) on the one hand and, their 'mission of education' on the other, actually marry up

As far as I see it, the reality of the situation is that (should all common-sense fail and it go ahead) we would be left with a monument on Potters Field that people wonder what is doing there, and the fact that there is a Foundation that exists that does (quite probably) some good work around the UK

I'm sure the charity/Foundation could do good work without the monument here. I can't see that it is essential to its aims if it isn't put here. In fact, I'm sure there are plenty of other charities or foundations that would love some massive symbol to their existence next to the Mayor of London's building which they could reference in their publicity materials

In fact, while we are on it, why can't we have a 8.5 metre Pudsey Bear (as a piece of art, of course) on Potters Field, for Children in Need? As far as I know, Pudsey is unlikely to become a flashpoint for protest (anti-Woganites aside), would not offend the families of victims who died in atrocities and would very much represent our positive commitment to those worse off than ourselves and the future of our children

Saturday 19 February 2011 4.29am
The events of 9/11 like so many violent events are indeed tragic. But as mentioned by others, the connection with Potters Field Park is ridiculous. Would California have a art work / memorial to the Challenger disaster ? Or New York an art work to the thousands who died in the blitz? Or IRA bombings? The lack of rationale to this project undermines its integrity both as 'art' or as a memorial. The images and video of the event, so graphically captured, do far more to educate those who witnessed them far more than this out of context 'art' work is supposed to do. They already serve as a permanent 'live' haunting testamonial. As mentioned, would we have pieces of tube trains from 7/7 placed as art? Given that the famlies of those in the UK and all other nations, who were so unfortunate to lose a loved ones, have already objected, the fact this is almost being imposed is disgusting. There are significant memorials being built in NYC (eventually) and we have the memorial garden here. This race to impose this edifice in time for the 10year anniversary (which has passed so quickly) surely undermines its own message, namely - respect and freedom for all. The emotional blackmail to secure its installation is both ironic and sadening. The tragegy started becuse it was an attempt to an attept to terrorise the beliefs of some on others. It therefore seems unreasonable in the extreme that this misguided proposal should go ahead and is distastful to those many individuals who lost their lives on a day that dosent need a piece of art but is captured forever by three numbers 9/11. This is not an art project. We shall remeber them.
Saturday 19 February 2011 1.51pm
I live in Shad Thames and want to voice my support for the project. The art-work appears to be akin to a peace memorial reflecting a highly significant and historic event that resonated around the World. One that involved and affected the UK in many different ways. Can't see how one can compare it to other events mentioned. Besides, I struggle with the idea of it being ‘violent’.

Locating such a work of art on the corner of Potters Fields I think is appropriate; surely it provides an opportunity for both locals and the many visitors to reflect upon both what happened that day as well as subsequent events?

The idea of furthering local education around 9/11 through the development of a schools programme also seems like a positive and constructive idea.
Saturday 19 February 2011 3.34pm
There may be confusion about local residents' opposition to this memorial. No doubt there are many views about a constructive way to move forward from a tragedy like 9/11. And no doubt many would support the idea of an educational initiative. BUT ... that does not justify placing the proposed structure in a local park.

If there is strong feeling among the London public (and there has yet to be any meaningful debate on the subject)that,despite the clearly expressed opposition of the families of the UK victims, such a memorial should be erected, there also needs to be more careful thought given to its location. It does not belong in a small park, which also happens to be alongside Tower Bridge and opposite the Tower of London, two of THE most iconic structures representing London.
Saturday 19 February 2011 4.05pm
Agree, however we must be clear that the proposed memorial and any educational programme are two different things and simply not dependent upon each other. The only connection I can see is that the Foundation wants to be able to reference the structure as some form of icon representing the Foundation within it's promotional literature

Whilst I think there are numerous reasons why this whole notion should be kicked into the long grass, I find it hard to take anyone seriously (or, indeed, legitimate) who is prepared to ignore the wishes of people who lost loved ones on the very wreckage the Foundation continues to try to foist onto us

My guess would be that we begin to see more brand-new accounts open up here, expressing similar sentiment to "a.local.supporter" above
Monday 21 February 2011 2.50pm
I have a number of objections to this proposal.

Firstly, placed so close to the GLA building, Tower Bridge and The Tower of London it would give the impression that there is official and popular support for the associated educational programme.

The stated aim of the programme is this;

"Our mission is to develop, out of the horror of the events of 11th September 2001, an educational programme for schools, devoted to a proper understanding of what happened; and thereby help to reduce the possibilities of any similar act in the future."

I would hope everyone would agree with the aim, but my concern is the way it will be implemented.

Is it guaranteed to be free from political bias or judgement ?

Who determines the "proper understanding of what happened" ?

I would want to see the programme run for a number of years and prove itself to be absolutely balanced and fair before putting my name to any symbol of it.

Secondly, the views of the UK victims families surely have to be taken into consideration.

One of the stated aims of the charity is;

"TO RELIEVE THE SICK, TO PROMOTE GOOD HEALTH AND TO RELIEVE THOSE IN FINANCIAL NEED, HARDSHIP OR DISTRESS IN PARTICULAR BUT NOT EXCLUSIVELY BY PROVIDING SUPPORT, SUCCOUR, GUIDANCE AND ASSISTANCE GENERALLY TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY THE TERRORIST ATTACKS ON NEW YORK ON 11 SEPTEMBER 2001 OR MAY BE SO AFFECTED IN THE FUTURE."

The letter quoted in a previous post suggests that having wreckage from the tragedy in London would cause distress to the families. This would be contrary to the charity's own aim.

Thirdly, Potters Fields is a small open space, a rare little oasis of green in a sea of concrete and brickwork. Once the Berkeley Homes development has been built it's going to feel smaller still. A thirty foot tall steel structure would be completely overbearing - it's inappropriate.

I cannot understand how planning permission was granted for this.

I'm happy to have spaces with monuments and pieces of art that makes me think, but I also need a place to breathe. Don't fill what little green space we have left with brutalist artwork !!

As a symbol of hope and education - how about planting a tree ?

Less expensive, less emotionally charged and certainly a good deal greener.
Monday 21 February 2011 8.45pm
If we're gonna get new girders, can we first get rid of the horrible grey ones over the entrance to Potters Fields on Tooley Street. They are an eyesore and do nothing to enhance the view of the park. The name Potters Fields could have been inserted into the artistic iron fence and would look so much better.
Monday 21 February 2011 11.37pm
As far as I can see, the situation is quite simple: people can have very different views on the political issues surrounding this project, but the majority of local residents (like myself) for a variety of reasons are opposed to erecting this memorial in Potters Fields Park.

Now if Southwark Council's "public consultation" means anything at all, they HAVE to take this into account! Maybe I am being a bit naive, but I think that if everyone opposed to the projects sends a complaint to Southwark, this will have to be officially documented and it must produce some effect, Southwark cannot simply ignore it. Maybe I've missed it, but does anyone know the right address to send the complaints to?
Tuesday 22 February 2011 4.32pm
Just read the excellent SE1 report on the meeting:
http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/5131

Quote: "I have to say that I don't quite accept this view – in fact I do find it a little bit hypocritical – that's it's fine to have a programme in schools … but it's somehow not fine to have it as part of our urban fabric," said Professor Schama.

There's no doubt that Simon Schama is an excellent historian and speaker, but his ego surpasses all his skills.
Tuesday 22 February 2011 5.06pm
Bullying of local people by the so-called intelligensia allied with Southwark Council who will do virtually anything to commercialise the Northern part of the borough....what a poor show this really is turning out to be.
Current: 7 of 15

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