Heart Rocks Sell Like Hot Cakes at 9/11 Museum

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 13: Visitors tour the new 9/11 Tribute Museum during the inaugural tour, June 13, 2017 in New York City. The new 9/11 Tribute Museum is officially opening today in an expanded location. The museum shares the personal stories of those directly impacted by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The biggest seller at the National September 11 Memorial Museum‘s much-maligned gift shop? Heart-shaped rocks emblazoned with generic sentiments like “Honor,” “United in Hope,” and “Reflect,” that are selling out faster than the museum can stock them, reports the New York Post.

The largest of the rocks (and most expensive, at $39) reads “No day shall erase you from the memory of time,” a Virgil quote also inscribed on the museum wall that features Spencer Finch’s Trying To Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning (see artnet News article).

The rocks are the work of Georgia artist Red Weldon-Sandlin, who crafts each piece by hand from clay, and has become a bit overwhelmed by the sudden demand for the souvenirs.

“It’s just me. I can only make so many for them at a time, and they sell out,” she told the Post. “I have an ongoing order. I’ve been very grateful they’ve been such a hit with the museum. People are responding to them and it’s wonderful.”

The museum purchases the rocks at wholesale prices and sells them at an undisclosed mark-up. Other items on sale at the gift shop, such as the infamous 9/11 cheese board (which, as artnet News reported, is no longer available), have come under fire for being tacky and insensitive, and for crassly monetizing a national tragedy (see artnet News report).

Meanwhile, another controversial planned element of the museum, a Danny Meyer restaurant, has been scrapped in favor of a simpler cafe from the restauranteur that will only offer pastries, tea, and coffee, the New York Post reports. The original concept, which the Post derided as “Never forget . . . to pig out!,” would have included a full menu of savory “comfort food” fare such as grilled cheese and salmon confit, and alcoholic beverages.

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