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Koenig Sphere owner miffed that globe may go into storage

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vx Photo Credit: Michael Kirby Smith

The family members of 9/11 victims aren’t the only people miffed that that the iconic Koenig Sphere may be stored in an airplane hangar when it is evicted from Battery Park this summer.

Its owners are pretty mad, too.

“We have rightful title to that piece and do not want it to go into storage,” said Colin Quinn, director of claims for Axa Art Insurance Corp.

Prior to 9/11, the Port Authority had Axa insure a number of pieces of artwork displayed at the World Trade Center — including the 45,000-pound Sphere sculpture.

Axa paid the the Port Authority $7.2 million for the agency’s claims after the terrorist attacks, making the insurance company the owners of the battered bronze orb that had once anchored Tobin Plaza at the trade center site, Quinn explained.

According to him, Axa allowed the agency to retain custody of the Sphere on two conditions: That it erect a plaque acknowledging the donation and that the sculpture continue to be displayed in a public space.

So far, Quinn said, there has been no plaque and Axa has been kept in the dark about plans for the Sphere when the globe’s current home at Battery Park undergoes renovations in a few months.

It was only when Quinn read in Monday's amNewYork about the 9/11 victim families’ campaign to bring the sculpture back to Ground Zero and save it from a possible fate in storage that Axa became aware of the situation.

While the Port Authority would not speak about any plans it had for the sculpture, agency spokesman Steve Coleman said: “We have been in touch with the insurance carrier today and are trying to resolve some of the issues. ... They will be a part of the decision-making process.”

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