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Indian to design memorial for UK 9/11 victims

Well-known India-born artist Anish Kapoor won the competition beating designs of 11 other artists, reports Nabanita Sircar.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2003 23:18 IST
Nabanita Sircar
Nabanita Sircar

Anish Kapoor, the Indian-born artist, will create a memorial for the British victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in New York.

Kapoor won the competition beating designs of 11 other artists and emerged as the favourite sculptor to build the memorial for the 67 British victims.

Although the official announcement is yet to be made but reportedly the Unity Sculpture will form the centrepiece of a British-themed garden at Hanover Square, near the site of the old Twin Towers in south Manhattan.

Its exact form is still not known but it has been described as "large", "stone" and "featuring reflective surfaces".

A spokeswoman at the artist's studio in London said: "We are very pleased to have been selected. But he does not want to comment until there is an official announcement."

Kapoor, in London since the early 1970s, is is extremely well-known in the contemporary art world. His work features in private and public collections internationally. His recent work was his giant, worm-like installation Marsyas, which filled the huge turbine hall at London's Tate Modern gallery last year.

Dubbed "a gift from the British community in New York to the people of New York City", the project organisers invited 12 British sculptors to submit designs that symbolised the bond between the US and the UK.

The others in the competition included artists like Sir Anthony Caro, Julian Opie, Antony Gormley and Richard Deacon. The judging panel of American and British art experts, selected Kapoor's work.

It is, however, not clear when the official announcement will be made, although a decision on the Unity Sculpture is already overdue by two months. But Kapoor's work is still waiting to get the final approval of the New York Art Commission.
Peggy Brown of the British Memorial Garden Trust, which is managing the project and raising the $3.5m (£2m) needed to complete it has warned: "The commission could decide against. It's typical of New York City - 'We don't do things fast'. But we're ready to go."

The first phase of the memorial garden project is expected to begin next spring, with the finished garden opening in summer 2005.

First Published: Dec 25, 2003 21:33 IST