Opponents of the plan say the nearly 8,000 unidentified remains should not be kept in a museum, particularly one that charges $24 admission. However, the city has stressed that while the repository is in the same building as the museum, it's in a separate area at bedrock level, which will not be open to the public. The space also includes a private "Reflection Room" for victims' family members.
The remains will be moved from the medical examiner's office near the East River in a "ceremonial transfer" on Saturday. There will be a procession of Police Department, Fire Department, and Port Authority vehicles, but no services. "Family members will, of course, be welcome to gather around the plaza of the site as the remains are moved down," said Mayor de Blasio's press secretary, Phillip Walzak.
While some relatives said they didn't even receive the email, Walzak defended the city's notification efforts. "We were interested in getting this information out to people a week in advance," he said. "Our hope was to give people some lead time that the transfer was happening." But not too much lead time, apparently.