By Darla McCammon
Lakeland Art Association
How many of you, like me, would be astonished to learn that a world famous Russian sculptor named Zurab Tseretelli had donated a magnificent sculpture memorial to our country as a “Struggle Against World Terrorism” after the events of 9/11? This donation was on behalf of the people of Russia to the United States, and few people have any idea of its existence or what a memorable and beautiful tribute it is to see.
Did you know that 26 Russians were also killed in one of those New York terrorist attacks? Did you know this memorial was a tribute of their shared expression of grief over those awful days and those horrible events? It is a tall monument, 10 stories, spearing the sky and jaggedly gashed down the center to create an opening for an enormous forty-foot, nickel-clad shiny teardrop weighing four tons. The teardrop is suspended for all to see the unified monument to grief. Tour boats can, and do, pull up to view the beautiful work that includes all I have described. It is on a mound adjacent to a deserted army base but located at a point where one can see the skyscrapers that make up Manhattan across the water that laps at the base of the structure.
As one walks around the base of the massive structure, it is possible to see the names of all those who died on the days of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks of 1993 and 2001, including the 26 Russian citizens. The sculptor, Tsereteli, made a trip to Ground Zero after the attack. He asked many questions as he formulated how he would create this masterful work. He looked across the Hudson and learned that boats and ferries and all manner of water conveyances were used to shuttle injured and survivors and those fleeing the danger. They were taken over to the Jersey shore where many of them lived. He decided the Manhattan skyline would be the perfect foil and backdrop to demonstrate his memorial to all those who had died at the World Trade Center. He wanted his work to be understood by his title “To the Struggle Against World Terrorism.” It is also known as “The Tear of Grief” and “The Tear Drop Memorial.”
According to information from Wikipedia: the sculpture was given to the United States as an official gift of the Russian government as a memorial to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 (26 of whom were Russian) and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. It stands at the end of the former Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne, N.J. Groundbreaking was done on Sept. 16, 2005, in a ceremony attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and was dedicated on Sept. 11, 2006, in a ceremony attended by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Correction: A misprint last week in one of our newspapers accidentally gave credit to Kelly Shoemaker for art work that was on exhibit at Lakeland Art Gallery by Stephanie McDairmant.
Upcoming and Current Events:
* January exhibit by Sherrie Johnson at Warsaw City Hall.
* The entire month of January into early February, Honeywell Art Gallery in Wabash is featuring the art of famous Warner Brothers cartoons.
* Feb.1-March 3, Stephanie McDairmant at LAA gallery, Warsaw.
* Coming February, top students from Grace College return to Warsaw City Hall with winning work.
* For more information on topics in this column, please contact Darla McCammon at [email protected] or 574-527-4044. Older columns here.