Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New York cracks down on illegal selling of 9/11 memorabilia

This article from Guardian News appeared in late fall of 2008, and I found it worth incorporating here. Many of the objects that are available at WTC site are tourist-focused and commemorative goods. I have some objects like this, but these aren't as interesting or unique as the mainstream and general consumer goods I've explored here.

Sidewalks and streets at Ground Zero were, at least temporarily, free of illegal vendors and hawkers on Monday afternoon after city officials demanded a crackdown on the selling of September 11 memorabilia, knockoff designer handbags and watches.

"You can't hawk at Ground Zero. It's distasteful and it's illegal," said Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer. "It gives Ground Zero a carnival atmosphere. It's inappropriate, especially for the families that go there to pay their respects."

Scores of September 11 hawkers have become a mainstay at Ground Zero. They flash photographs of exploding debris and images of the twin towers crumbling in the faces of tourists and passersby at the Liberty Street New York fire department firehouse, and in front of the Tribute Centre, the official World Trade Centre museum.

Some hawkers even sell the pictures at the fence where tourists gather to view the site by a Port Authority sign saying it is "prohibited" for vendors to sell there. The sign asks tourists to "refrain" from buying items. It also suggests tourists buy their collectibles at the Tribute Centre gift shop, which "offers authorised commemorative WTC items." Proceeds are donated to the September 11th Families Association.

No comments: