Searching for Value in the Rubble of 9/11
This chapter notes that the attacks of September 11, 2001, led to the designation of property damaged in the attacks as “sacred” by officials and others. This new designation was applied both to real property and to souvenirs of the attacks. Some of the objects in question were unremarkable, often nothing more than rubble. However, for those who possessed them, they seemed to have transcended such banal categorizations. This chapter examines the form of value created through destruction. It asks who lays claim to that value, to what purposes it is directed, how it attaches to material objects and land, and whether it overwhelms the usual legal understandings of property and ownership or can be subordinated to them.
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