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The Dream of the Moving Statue
by William Tucker

Early in 2002, a photo was published in the Guardian of a nude figure lying among the debris of the World Trade Center in the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. The ambiguities in this image are manifold. At first glance, we might be looking at a distorted human body, until the cavities at the broken ankles reveal it to be a hollow shell. Perhaps it could be a plaster cast, like those made from bodies trapped in hot lava at Pompeii. The figure can be read as lying on its front or on its back, the apparent distortion of its limbs and its broken extremities attesting to the heat of the inferno within the building, and the impact of a fall of hundreds of feet.

Pieces of a Rodin bronze sculpture from the World Trade Center
offices of Cantor Fitzgerald in the Fresh Kills landfill, Staten Island, January 14, 2002.

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