Banksy says new World Trade Center 'betrays' 9/11 victims
Paper refuses to print article calling Ground Zero development New York's 'biggest eyesore'
BANKSY has upped the stakes in his month-long residency in New York, attacking the new tower that has been built at Ground Zero as the city's "biggest eyesore".
The British street artist was hoping his scathing critique of One World Trade Center would be published on the opinion page of the New York Times. But his submission was rejected, so Banksy posted it – complete with the NYT masthead and its famous motto "All the news that's fit to print" – on his website.
In his article, Banksy urges New Yorkers to do something about the 104-storey tower. "That building is a disaster," he writes. "Well no, disasters are interesting. One World Trade Center is a non-event. It's vanilla. It looks like something they would build in Canada."
According to its developers, the 1,776-foot high tower "sets new standards of design, construction, and prestige".
Banksy disagrees, calling it a "shyscraper" that lacks "self-confidence". It looks "like it never wanted to be built in the first place," he writes, comparing it to "a really tall kid at a party, awkwardly shifting his shoulders trying not to stand out from the crowd.
More controversially, Banksy says it would be easy to view One World Trade Center as a "betrayal" of everyone who lost their life in the 11 September terrorist attacks, because the meekness of the design "proclaims the terrorists won".
He adds: "Those ten men have condemned us to live in a world more mediocre than the one they attacked."
The New York Post says the artist "took a swipe" at the New York Times' rejection of his opinion piece by stencilling the words "This site contains blocked messages" on a wall in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
A spokeswoman for the New York Times confirmed that the paper had rejected the article, but added, "what he has posted on his site is not exactly the same as what he submitted". ·