The Sculptor Who Created The Sphere, a Symbol of Resilience, Dead at 92

The heavily damaged Koenig Sphere stands in the debris of Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks. Dozens of rescue workers stand around the sphere. The rubble of the Twin Towers can be seen in the background.
The Sphere became a symbol of resilience after it was left standing on 9/11.

The sculptor who created The Sphere, the sculptural centerpiece of the World Trade Center site that became a symbol of resilience when it was damaged but left standing on 9/11, has died at 92. Fritz Koenig died Wednesday in his home in Adolf, Germany, according to the Associated Press, which cited Bavaria’s state Minister of Culture. The Sphere once stood between the twin towers on the Austin Tobin Plaza and became a welcome sight and popular meeting place for people working at the World Trade Center. The 25-foot metallic sculpture was commissioned by the owner of the WTC, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in 1966. It stood at the site from 1971 until Sept. 11, 2001. Despite being visibly damaged in the attack, it remained structurally intact – a striking image amid the utter destruction of the site.

On March 11, 2002, the sphere was re-erected and rededicated in Battery Park as a memorial to the victims of 9/11. The Port Authority voted last year to return it to World Trade Center site. The 25-ton sculpture, comprised of 52 bronze segments, will be placed in Liberty Park, which overlooks the Memorial Plaza, and near the St. Nicholas National Shrine, which is being rebuilt after suffering damage in the 9/11 attack.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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