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Buildings Design Sparks Anger Over 9/11 Similarity

A Dutch architectural firm says its designers didn't see the resemblance.

But many, many others certainly do think the two buildings — linked by a "cloud" of skybridges — that MVRDV has proposed for a project in Seoul look very much like the haunting images of the World Trade Center's twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001, after they were hit by high-jacked passenger planes.

So MVRDV has issued a "we sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt" statement. It says it's been getting "threatening emails and calls of angry people calling us Al Qaeda lovers or worse."

According to The Wall Street Journal, "a spokesman for Yongsan Development Co., charged with financing the DreamHub project, said on Monday that the MVRDV proposal was just one of 19 being considered for the two buildings. More will be revealed in coming weeks, she said. A winning design won't be chosen until funding gets lined up, which will be well into next year at the soonest."

Bloomberg News says the development where the towers might be built "is near the Yongsan U.S. Army Garrison, the headquarters of American forces in South Korea."

Sept. 11, 2001: The twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York City.
Spencer Platt / Getty Images
Getty Images
Sept. 11, 2001: The twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York City.

(H/T to NPR's Scott Neuman.)

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.