Sacred Property : Searching for Value in the Rubble of 9/11

Title

Sacred Property : Searching for Value in the Rubble of 9/11

Files

Description

Published as Chapter 16 in After Secular Law, Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Robert A. Yelle & Mateo Taussig-Rubbo, eds.

Officials and others designated property damaged in the attacks of September 11, 2001 as ‘sacred.’ Some of the objects in question were unremarkable, often nothing more than rubble; some were even considered trash and sent to a landfill; but for those who possessed them they seem to have transcended such banal categorizations. This Chapter seeks to document and analyze the form of value created through destruction and the implicit norms that emerged around the use and circulation of various ‘sacred’ objects. Working through a number of detailed case studies — including the investigation of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents for taking souvenirs from ‘ground zero,’ as well as the litigation initiated by family members seeking to recover the remains of their loved ones from the Fresh Kills garbage dump on Staten Island — this Chapter examines who lays claim to this sacred form of value, to what purposes it is directed, and whether it momentarily overwhelmed the usual legal understandings of property and ownership

Publication Date

2011

Publisher

Stanford University Press

City

Redwood City

ISBN

9780804775366

First Page

322

Last Page

340

Keywords

9/11, ground zero, sacralization, desacralization, FBI, memorials

Disciplines

Anthropology | Law

Sacred Property : Searching for Value in the Rubble of 9/11

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