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Sep 11 museum to open at Ground Zero

The museum is dedicated to those killed in the terror attacks on 11 September 2001.

A model of the World Trade Center buildings, seen during a press preview in the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center site on 14 May 2014 in New York. Picture:AFP.

NEW YORK -The National September 11 Memorial Museum at Ground Zero, a museum dedicated to the 11 September 2001 terror attacks, is scheduled to open today.

Today's opening is only for the victims' family members and will be attended by US President Barack Obama.

The museum will be open to the public from next Wednesday.

The museum is the culmination of eight years' work designing the exhibits, collecting artifacts and settling innumerable disputes over how best to document the day when hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and an open field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 people.

Battles over oversight and funding slowed construction even as reconstruction of the larger World Trade Center site was getting under way. In October 2012, the museum's lower levels were flooded in Superstorm Sandy.

"The museum is a place where you can come to understand 9/11 through the lives of those who were killed and the lives of those who rushed here to help," said former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Among the most moving displays was a fire engine badly battered in the collapse of the twin towers, he said.

The museum helps to convey the events and emotions of the tragic day by using audio such as telephone messages left to loved ones from those who would die in the towers, and cockpit recordings from the doomed planes.

A recent controversy involved moving unidentified remains of victims to the museum site. Some family members said it was wrong to store them at what is essentially a tourist site.

More than half of the $700 million needed to build the museum and memorial was raised privately, and about $250 million came from federal disaster funding.

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