Pope Francis Pays Tribute to the Dead at Spencer Finch’s Sky-Colored 9/11 Installation

The Pope received a short tour of the museum, including the World Trade Center Cross.

Pope Francis with Spencer Finch's Trying To Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning. Photo: National September 11 Memorial Museum.
Pope Francis with Spencer Finch's Trying To Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning. Photo: National September 11 Memorial Museum.

Pope Francis’s New York city visit kicked into high gear today with the Pontiff appearing at the United Nations and the National September 11 Memorial Museum, among other planned events.

“Here grief is palpable,” said the Pope at Ground Zero, ABC reported. “The water we see flowing towards that empty pit reminds us of all those lives which fell prey to those who think that destruction, tearing down, is the only way to settle conflicts.”

Following the inter-faith prayer service, the Pope received a short tour of the museum, viewing the controversial World Trade Center Cross, the cross-shaped steel wreckage from the tragic event that became a symbol of hope in the aftermath of the attacks.

Pope Francis was also photographed with Spencer Finch’s Trying To Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning, a large installation of hand-painted blue swatches of paper that attempt to recreate the famously clear blue sky of that fateful 2001 day.

Van Hecht-Nielsen, Pope Francis mural overlooking Madison Square Garden. Photo: Gregory A. Shemitz, courtesy Catholic news Service/CNS Photo.

Van Hecht-Nielsen, Pope Francis mural overlooking Madison Square Garden.
Photo: Gregory A. Shemitz, courtesy Catholic news Service/CNS Photo.

At 5 pm today, the Pope will enter the Central Park at West 72nd Street, near Strawberry Fields, and presumably catch a glimpse of the black-and-white Imagine mosaic, created by Neapolitan artisans in honor of late Beatle John Lennon, gunned down just outside the park.

In anticipation of the procession, the park has been closed south of 81st street, with numerous street closures in the area. On its website, the nearby Museum of Arts and Design is encouraging visitors to use the subway, rather than cars or buses, for transportation.

In the park, 40,000 faithful will stand by as Pope Francis processes down to the southern end of the park at West 59th Street. A few blocks east, and he would have a great view of the Public Art Fund‘s latest installation at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Alicja Kwade‘s Against the Run, but he’ll presumably head straight south to say mass at Madison Square Garden.

Hopefully, though, he will stop to snap a selfie with the giant hand-painted portrait of himself that looms over Midtown.


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