20th anniversary of September 11: NatGeo photo exhibition shows unseen objects from the September 11 attacks


NEW YORK CITY – A NatGeo exhibit by Henry Leutwyler features rare and unseen objects from the 9/11 attacks.

“Sacred Dust” opened at Foley Gallery at 59 Orchard Street Friday and through September 26.

“Nightmare material,” Leutwyler said. “I wake up once a week thinking about something I photographed.”

Often in life, it’s the smallest things that have the most impact. Someone’s computer keyboard, one person’s rolodex, was found in the rubble after 9/11 – evidence of how dire that day was.

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For the first time, visitors can see the engine of Flight 93 and part of the wing of one of the hijacked planes.

Leutwyler captured the images, some of which are now featured in a 22-page release in National Geographic.

“It’s not art,” Leutwyler said. “It’s a documentary. Go through it and let’s pay some kind of tribute to the diminished.”

Among those killed was a woman who survived the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. She reluctantly returned to work in the Twin Towers and her wristwatch was found in the debris in 2001.

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There are pants belonging to an EMT with a handwritten note saying “do not wash” and ashes from the remains of those who died.

“I just hope I can, through these images, educate and share a tragic moment in our history,” said Leutwyler.

The way these photographs are displayed was also a very deliberate decision. There are no frames, no captions, no distractions – just the image, powerful and relevant.

“This is an exhibition in a commercial gallery where nothing is for sale,” said gallery owner Michael Foley. “Everything will be donated to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. “

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More than 70,000 objects are now in the museum, a reflection of America’s darkest moment that we pledge to “never forget.”

“You touch and look at objects that have changed the world,” Leutwyler said.

For more information visit NatGeo.com and FoleyGallery.com.

CLICK HERE for more thoughts, photos and stories from Eyewitness News marking the anniversary of September 11

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