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National Building Museum exhibit chronicles 50 years at World Trade Center ahead of 9/11 anniversary

The new exhibit opened Saturday at the National Building Museum.

WASHINGTON — A brand new art exhibit is remembering the Twin Towers, just ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The show opened Saturday at the National Building Museum and features more than 50 years of photos of the World Trade Center.

The images, all captured by photographer Camilo José Vergara, chart the history of the iconic towers from their construction to the attack that brought them down and what came next.

“I closely followed the construction of the towers, watching heavy trucks bring in steel or haul away dirt amid the noise of jackhammers and clanging metal," wrote Vergara in an essay accompanying the photographs. 

"As they rose to become the tallest buildings in the world, I regarded them as a wild expression of mistaken priorities in a troubled time," he continued.

"Eventually, my early resentment faded, and I grew to see them as great human creations," he wrote. "As I traveled farther away to photograph the towers from distant boroughs, they seemed to lose their solidity and become mysterious, fantastic, and alluring."

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Chrysanthe Broikos, a consulting curator at the National Building Museum, hopes the exhibit inspires visitors to think about what the towers and those who worked there meant to the world, and how the world responded when they fell.

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"This show looks back but it looks forward because it's not just about what we lost, it's what's there now and what that means as well," she said.

Vergara, in his essay, would seem to agree.

"I’ve photographed the rise of new skyscrapers built around the memorial pools honoring those who died," he wrote. "This exhibition is dedicated to those who perished, those who responded, and those who are rebuilding after September 11, 2001.” 

The exhibit runs through March 6th at the National Building Museum.

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