Columbia News Video Forum

World Trade Center Redevelopment Should Not Be Limited to 'Clever Buildings,' Say Panelists Reflecting on 'Monument and Memory'

With various plans for rebuilding the World Trade Center site under consideration, the relationship between monuments and memory is the topic at an art history and archaeology seminar on Art in Society. The discussion considers how public monuments embody memory and their impact over time.

Richard Brilliant

'Monuments Stimulate Memory and Honor,' Says Brilliant
"Monuments have very short lives," says Richard Brilliant, A.S. Garbedian Professor of the Humanities. Once the generation that built them has passed on, they change from animate to inanimate objects in the public space, and lose their function, he says.

Real (5:16)Video
Lecture by Daniel Libeskind
Daniel Libeskind

Architecture Is a Communicative Art, Says Libeskind
Architecture is a communicative art that tells a story, says Daniel Libeskind, noted architect and Paul Philippe Cret Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. As one of the six finalists offering design plans for the World Trade Center site, Libeskind says rebuilding Ground Zero is not just about developing a great new city or filling the site with "clever buildings." He discusses the importance of monuments, specifically for the World Trade Center, through four of his earlier projects.

Real (40:38)Video
Respondents by Leon Wieseltier
Leon Wieseltier

The Most Fitting Monument for Ground Zero Would Be a Void and a Flag, Says Wieseltier
"Lower Manhattan must not be transformed into a vast mausoleum, but neither must it be transformed into a theme park for advanced architectural taste," says Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of New Republic. The most fitting monument would be a "void and a flag," he argues.

Real (13:27)Video
Respondents by Sherwin Nuland
Sherwin Nuland

Nuland Recommends a 'Garden of Quiet Thought' for the Site
Ground Zero must be turned into a space where we can reflect on the events that created it, unhurried by outside forces, says Sherwin Nuland, clinical professor of surgery at Yale University. We need a "garden of quiet thought, a park-like oasis," he proposes.

Real (14:49)Video
Rebuttal by Daniel Libeskind

Architecture Is an Expression of Human Ideals, Rebuts Libeskind
Architecture is not a "necessary evil" but a valid expression of human ideals and circumstances, rebuts Libeskind. It is, therefore, an essential part of the World Trade Center monument, he says.

Real (10:28)Video

Published: Oct 31, 2002
Last modified:Oct 31, 2002