The long-awaited museum dedicated to the 3,000 victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York, will open to the public at the World Trade Center site on May 21, officials announced today.
The 9/11 Memorial Museum, which was delayed due to financing disputes and flooding, will provide a "dignified and reverential setting" for approximately 8,000 unidentified remains of those who died in the 2001 attacks in Manhattan.
After years of planning, financial disputes and construction the museum will include historical artifacts from the attack, including the personal effects of first responders and a mangled fire truck.
Families of those killed in the attacks, along with emergency workers, survivors and other special groups will have a week of 24 hours a day access to the museum before it officially opens to the public.
In pictures: 9/11 Memorial Museum
In pictures: 9/11 Memorial Museum
1/10 Pavilion exterior
The long-awaited museum dedicated to the 3,000 victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York, will open to the public at the World Trade Center site on May 21
2/10 Pavilion exterior
A view of the pavilion from outside
3/10 WTC Tridents
Recovered from the World Trade Center Site after 11 September 2001, these structural steel 'tridents' rose from the base of the North Tower (1 WTC). These columns were embedded at bedrock, branching from one column into three at the sixth floor. Here, they are located in the museum’s entry pavilion designed by Snoetta
4/10 Rescue and recovery
Photographs of rescue and recovery are part of the the exhibition
5/10 FDNY ambulance
FDNY ambulances were dispatched to the World Trade Center after hijacked Flight 175 struck the South Tower
6/10 Damaged phone booth
Damaged phone booth recovered after the 9/11 attacks is part of the exhibition
7/10 Bike rack
Bike rack recovered from outside of WTC building
8/10 Flag steel
The 'flag steel' is a piece of recovered WTC steel. Its graceful s-curve makes it appear as if it is a ribbon, or flag, flowing in the wind
Operating engineers used grappler claws to lift tangled steel and debris from the pile at Ground Zero. Spotters worked alongside them, scrutinizing each load for human remains. Breeze Demolition was among the companies utilizing heavy construction equipment for the recovery and cleanup operations
10/10 Box Columns
On 9/11, hijacked Flight 11 tore into the north facade of the North Tower, creating a gash from the 93rd through the 99th floors and tearing apart steel (M-27) columns weighing many tons
The museum, which has 110,000 square feet of historical exhibitions, extends seven floors below the ground and details the terrorist attacks, the events that led up to them and the aftermath.
The museum had originally been scheduled for opening in 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the attacks, but flooding caused by Superstorm Sandy combined with a dispute with the site's owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, delayed construction.
"We are honored that the first people to experience this Museum will be the men and women who came to our aid and protected us on 9/11, the families of the innocent victims killed that day, and the survivors who lived to tell the tale of an unimaginable horror so that we may learn from the past,” said former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who is also chairman of the memorial.
“The Museum is built upon their incredible stories,” he told the New York Times.
The museum will have a $24 (£14) admission fee and tickets will be available starting March 26 at 911memorial.org.