MANHATTAN – From beautiful, bright art to now blank, empty walls.
Works of art remembering September 11th were recently ripped from the walls of the World Trade Center subway station.
“It's really important for the people who can't go to the museums and stuff. At least they could see it here so it's important for history,” said one commuter.
For Eric Lustgarten, the theft remains a cruel unsolved mystery, “I’m trying to understand why.”
Lustgarten is chairman of the board for the non-profit that spearheaded this installation – ArtAID. “These were actually museum quality prints,” he said.
The prints were from the collection of photojournalist Keith De Cesare. On September 11, he lived in Lower Manhattan. Over 16 years, he has told the stories of lives lost, the survivors and the responders all through the lens of his camera.
This tribute went up in the subway station below the 9/11 Memorial Museum on September 11 for the anniversary.
By the next day, it was removed.
Lustgarten said their volunteers were threatened by September 11th conspiracy theorists and police even warned them they might try to rip them down. But ArtAID was defiant- they believed these images had to be seen.
The case of the stolen 9/11 art is now under investigation by the NYPD.