The 9/11 Museum has questionable taste in souvenir tchotchkes. The most blatant offender? A memorial cheese plate with hearts marking the places where terrorists crashed the hijacked planes.
Of course we should never forget what happened, but was a cheese plate really the best memorial someone could come up with?
Residents of the Twittersphere sure didn’t think so…
Don’t know why everyone’s so upset about the 9/11 cheese plate, my family owns like 5 final solution fondue pots http://t.co/0pNZJQtZxa.
— Rachel Syme (@rachsyme) May 23, 2014
could one person who bought this please call me to explain the scenario in which one would use a 9/11 cheese plate? http://t.co/nZ0XQKLLjf
— Tim Grieve (@timgrieve) May 23, 2014
I really want the 9/11 cheese plate (http://t.co/olrMqwyzrz) but I worry it won’t fit on the table with my Jonestown Massacre punch bowl.
— Adam Feldman (@FeldmanAdam) May 22, 2014
Perhaps the museum can sell a 9/11 sorbet dish. You’ll need a palate cleanser for the bad taste a 9/11 cheese plate will leave in your mouth
— Jillian Jorgensen (@Jill_Jorgensen) May 22, 2014
Amid intense criticism, the 9/11 Museum has removed the offending cheese platter. It was no longer available for sale in the gift shop as of Tuesday, May 27th, reports the Wall Street Journal.
People on Twitter were quick to weigh in on this new development.
Look, if you can’t buy a 9/11 memorial cheese plate at the 9/11 museum, then the terrorists have won, OK? http://t.co/bdIgcIl8mR
— Ian Froeb (@ianfroeb) May 23, 2014
No more cheese plate at 9/11 museum shop: “Once the public starts coming in, you learn so much,” like common sense. http://t.co/AlwynXQM1x
— Jeff Chu (@jeffchu) May 29, 2014
Good to have a handy one sentence answer for people who ask us to describe America: “9/11 Museum Removes 9/11 Cheese Plate From Gift Shop.”
— Teju Cole (@tejucole) May 29, 2014
9/11 Memorial and Museum Foundation president Joe Daniels has informed ArtNet News that family members of some of the victims of the 9/11 attacks will now vet all merchandise sold in the gift shop.
We’re pretty sure the 9/11 museum isn’t out of the woods yet. The WSJ also reports that a planned upscale cafe selling food, beer, and wine will be opening up on-site. Union Square Hospitality Group CEO Danny Meyer offered the following explanation:
“As New Yorkers, we feel proud that the museum asked us to present a sensitive solution to how to provide museumgoers a place to sit and take comfort as they reflect on their experience.”
We really hope the museum starts to get it right—stuff like this and kicking Gothamist reporter Jen Chung out for asking questions are incredibly disheartening. Let’s hope the removal of this cheese plate is only the first positive step.