NEW YORK -- Families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks have expressed outrage at the inclusion of a gift shop in the newly dedicated 9/11 Museum that sits on the site of the tragedy in New York's lower Manhattan.
The shop has been accused of selling a selection of items that sit uneasily with the stories of loss and heroism that the museum promotes, not to forget its location on the burial site of thousands of people who perished in the attack, with more than 8,000 unidentified remains housed in a vault below the newly-finished building.
Trinkets on sale include a toy search and rescue dog, a 9/11 Museum umbrella, a 9/11 Museum iPhone case and various key chains, hoodies, mugs, mouse mats, caps, shirts, magnets and even an New York Fired Department vest for dogs.
One family member told Fox News the gift shop was “insensitive and repugnant," while a other who lost her son told the New York Post: "Here is essentially our tomb of the unknown. To sell baubles I find quite shocking... I think it's a money-making venture to support inflated salaries, and they're willing to do it over my son's dead body."
Similar controversy was sparked in April the museum announced that it would charge a mandatory fee for visitors, with Janice Testa of Valley Stream, whose firefighter brother Henry Miller Jr. died at the twin towers, telling AP: "It shouldn't be a place where you go and see works of art. It should more be like a memorial place like a church that there's no entry fee."
However, the museum’s president and CEO Joe Daniels hit back at the complaints, pointing out that the museum is self-funded. He told CNN: "What's most important is whether the stories it tells... helps fulfil our promise to never forget... We have to pay for it, we have to make sure this museum is available forever for everyone."