The sculpture that stood in the middle of the World Trade Center plaza when the center was destroyed cannot find a permanent home. But another big bronze that has been in New York City less than a year already has a highly visible spot at ground zero.
Commuters streaming out of the PATH train station at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday morning may have spotted the shrouded newcomer: a 16-foot-tall sculpture of a Special Operations soldier on horseback. The statue is a memorial to the troops who led the American invasion of Afghanistan in response to the Sept. 11 attacks on the trade center and the Pentagon.
The statue, known as “De Oppresso Liber,” a motto of the Army Special Forces, was hauled to a spot near the PATH station entrance on Vesey Street on Tuesday evening. That will be its temporary home while construction at the trade center continues, according to Patrick J. Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The Port Authority has agreed to provide a space for the statue at the trade center outside of the official 9/11 Memorial, Mr. Foye said. He added that no decision had been made about where the statue’s permanent home would be, but it is expected to stay on the trade center’s grounds.
“The installation of the horse soldier statue close to the scene of the 9/11 attacks we think is appropriate,” Mr. Foye said.
He is scheduled to attend a ceremony there on Friday, along with other political and military officials, to rededicate the statue. It was originally dedicated in November 2011 at a ceremony led by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center.
At the time, the statue had been bound for the nearby Zuccotti Park, but the Occupy Wall Street encampment there interrupted that plan. Instead, the statue has spent the last 11 months in the lobby of an office building in Battery Park City.
The United War Veterans Council, the group that stages the city’s annual Veterans Day parade, persuaded the Port Authority to make room for the statue at ground zero. Bill White, the former chief executive of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, represented the council and the statue’s owner, the Green Beret Foundation, in those negotiations.
That decision came amid a long-running debate about where to put the giant bronze sphere that was damaged by falling debris on Sept. 11. The sculpture, which was created by the artist Fritz Koenig, was commissioned for the World Trade Center. After surviving the collapse of the twin towers, the battered sphere was moved to Battery Park. But it is scheduled to be removed this fall.
Some relatives of people who died on Sept. 11 have called for the sphere to be returned to ground zero. But the operators of the 9/11 Memorial there have resisted. And Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the chairman of the memorial foundation, has said the damaged sphere looks beautiful where it is now.
Mr. Foye said that he did not expect any criticism from those who want the sphere returned to ground zero and suggested that the trade center site could accommodate both sculptures. Mr. White said he had received support from families of 9/11 victims for the placement of the horse soldier statue and added that the costs of moving and maintaining the artwork would be borne by the veterans council and would not fall on taxpayers.
Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland, the deputy commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, said that he planned to attend the ceremony on Friday and that he believed ground zero was a fitting location for a memorial to the soldiers killed in Afghanistan as well as all of the other Americans who died responding to the 9/11 attacks.