On the up: New York’s Freedom Tower

A 20-tonne slab of granite has stilled controversy and fury over the skyscraper that will anchor New York’s site of the pulverised World Trade Centre.

For now. The official laying of the corner stone formed the groundbreaking ceremony for Daniel Libeskind’s 541m glass and steel design that will be the world’s biggest tower when complete in 2009. The project forms one of the highest profile architecture and landscape schemes but has been blighted by squabbling between designers, developers and politicians. New York Governor George Pataki said: “This is a new symbol of this city and this country and our resolve in the face of terror.” The stone, also unveiled by mayor Michael Bloomberg, was inscribed: “To honour and remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and as a tribute to the enduring spirit of freedom.” Libeskind said the start of rebuilding was a celebration of human resilience. The tower would inspire New York, America and the world with “the ideals of liberty and democracy”.

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