For decades, Fritz Koenig's iconic sphere sculpture, meant to symbolize world peace through world trade, stood in the center of the World Trade Center plaza, and it miraculously survived the September 11th attacks. Since 2002 it's been re-erected in Battery Park, a few blocks away from its original location, but yesterday the Port Authority announced that the sculpture will finally be returned to the World Trade Center site in Liberty Park, the elevated park that opened to the public just last month.

"The Sphere is a symbol of strength and survival and reflects the Port Authority's continuing commitment to remember those, including 84 agency employees, who were lost 15 years ago and those who survived the terrible attacks at the World Trade Center site," Port Authority Chairman John Degnan said in a statement.

The sphere suffered relatively little damage during 9/11—it received some punctures and dents, but remained intact—and as such it's come to be a reminder of the deadly attacks and New York City's resilience in their aftermath. Immediately following the attacks it was removed to a storage site near JFK airport, along with other artifacts retrieved from the rubble, but in 2002 it was returned to Manhattan.

But its time in Battery Park wasn't without drama: in 2011 it was announced the sphere would have to be moved again to allow for construction, at which point some families of 9/11 victims threatened to boycott the 10th anniversary of the attacks unless it was returned to the World Trade Center site. It took another two years, but the sphere was indeed moved once more—just 550 feet, and still within Battery Park, to accommodate renovations. At the time, Michael Burke, whose brother died in the attacks and who became the foremost voice calling for the sphere's relocation, argued that "putting the Sphere anywhere else [but the plaza] denies its meaning and betrays the innocents who perished on 9/11."

Talk of bringing the sphere back to its original location surfaced once more this January, when Port Authority officials told the local community board that the move was indeed on the table. Battery Park's management was on board, and in June, at the opening of Liberty Park, Port Authority executive director Pat Foye said that "my own personal view is that the sphere belongs here, not in Battery Park and certainly not in an airport hanger...We're working with the families including Michael Burke to bring it to this site."

At yesterday's meeting of the Port Authority board, Foye officially recommended moving the sphere, and the commissioners unanimously approved the recommendation. An official date for the relocation of the 25-ton sculpture is still pending.

Burke had hoped it would be incorporated into the 9/11 memorial, but told the New York Times yesterday that placing it in Liberty Park, as is currently planned, also seems appropriate, as "it's quieter than the hustle and bustle and Pokemon Go atmosphere of the memorial."