A sculpture which depicts the Saudi Arabian flag as a piece of candy is moving from its controversial location near the 9/11 Memorial to JFK International Airport. The 1,450-pound sculpture is one of twenty in a larger installation called Candy Nations, meant to depict the twenty countries in the G20. The entire installation will now be dispersed throughout JFK's AirTrain system, according to a Port Authority press release.

The French artist Laurence Jenkell, who crafted these sculptures out of polyester and resin, first displayed them at the 2011 G20 summit in Cannes, France. The nine-foot tall pieces, which include the likes of Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, and Mexico as wrapped pieces of candy, appeared in 25 countries around the world before arriving in New York City. The sweets previously cropped up throughout the Port Authority Bus Terminal and in fall 2018, they surfaced in the Garment District. In December, Port Authority announced that Jenkell's sculptures would move to a spot near the 9/11 Memorial to coincide with the holidays.

Not everyone loved that the Saudi Arabian flag was included in the installation, located right by the Oculus near the 9/11 Memorial (the majority of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia). Following the sculptures' installation, a group of 9/11 survivors and victims' families criticized its placement. "The sculpture's presence at this site, depicting the (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) flag, is an outrageous affront to the 9/11 community and all other Americans who seek justice for the attacks on our nation on September 11, 2001," read the statement.

Jenkell noted to the Observer that she thought about excluding the Saudi flag when Candy Nations made the move to World Trade Center area, but ultimately decided against it. "Given the unique and justified sensitivities surrounding the World Trade Center, it came to my mind to propose to remove the sculpture showcasing the flag of Saudi Arabia, or relocate it to a less sensitive location," she said in a statement. "But there is no way I can do such a thing as the flag of Saudi Arabia is entirely part of the G20 just like any other candy flag of this Candy Nations show."

Port Authority confirmed to Gothamist on Tuesday that the sculptures would now be housed at JFK Airport: "We believe this solution respects the unique sensitivities of the site and preserves the artistic integrity of the exhibit."

Reached by email, Jenkell said, "I've been deeply disturbed and saddened by some of the reactions, especially given the reverence I have for this sacred site that embodies resilience even more than any other place in the world."