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The 9/11 Tribute Museum In New York Is To Shut Down After Running Up Too Much Debt During The Pandemic

The 9/11 Tribute Museum in New York will be shuttering its doors permanently after running up too much debt during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The museum is the smaller and far well less known of the two museums built in honor of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the US.

It sits not too far from its larger counterpart, the National September 11th Memorial Museum, the better known next to the memorial pools built on the footprints of the twin towers after they collapsed when hijackers flew passenger planes into them, at the site in lower Manhattan still informally known to many as Ground Zero.

Since the pandemic, the smaller museum, on Greenwich St, has struggled to rely on international tourism to stay open, the Wall Street Journal first reported on Thursday.

In 2021, museum admissions were at 26,000, an 83% decrease from 2019 when the museum saw 150,000 visitors. Prior to the pandemic, about 40% of the museum’s visitors came from abroad.

"The responsible thing is to close, unfortunately," the museum's chief executive Jennifer Adams-Webb told the Wall Street Journal. Despite an uptick in visitors in December, it still is not enough to keep the museum afloat.

"We've kind of been hanging on by a string," Adams-Webb added.

The museum, which opened in 2006, has a 10-person staff and an additional 300 volunteer docents.

"It emerged as a project of the non-profit September 11th Families' Association and “offers visitors the ability to learn factual information about the events of 9/11, the unprecedented rescue and recovery operation and the rebuilding of both Lower Manhattan and of people’s lives", says its website.

The museum has trained more than 1,000 survivors, first responders, recovery workers and local residents, who have gone on to share their personal experiences with over five million visitors.

One volunteer who lost her child in the attacks told Adams-Webb: "I can come here and I can talk about my son to people that want to hear his story. And then I can put it away, and I can go home."

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