Finish the 9/11 Museum


New York Times Editorial
July 5, 2012

The Sept. 11 museum at the former World Trade Center site was supposed to open in September. It will not be ready. The delay is largely the result of a conflict that pits Mayor Michael Bloomberg against Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, three leaders who should be able to resolve this quarrel swiftly.

The work on the museum has been stalled because of a disagreement about construction costs between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site and constructed the memorial, and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum foundation, which now operates the memorial complex.

Officials of the Port Authority, who take orders from Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Christie, have insisted this is a debate about money, especially the high cost of future maintenance. They want the federal government, not the authority, to pay $60 million a year to keep the memorial site open to the public. Mr. Bloomberg, who is chairman of the foundation, acknowledges that future maintenance costs are a problem. But he insists the real issue is that the governors want to create a new governing board to wrest control of the memorial and museum from the foundation. He rightly worried that such a move would needlessly entangle the memorial and museum in a political process.

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