A Pennsylvania artist whose sculpture memorializing a sycamore tree destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks was displayed in the courtyard of Trinity Church in lower Manhattan has filed an unusual lawsuit in Manhattan federal court, challenging the church’s removal of his piece.
Sculptor Steve Tobin, who gave his three-ton “Trinity Root” bronze to the church for display on its site just south of the World Trade Center, said that by moving it to Connecticut the church violated the federal Visual Artists Rights Act. He wants damages and an injunction.
“Its purpose was to memorialize the site of a 9/11 event of grace and celebrate the tree’s role and sacrifice,” the lawsuit said. “The intent, spirit and design of the sculpture – its aesthetic essence and spiritual meaning – were inextricably specific to that site.”
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