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Atheists want ‘Ground Zero Cross’ excluded from 9/11 museum

'Ground Zero Cross'

'Ground Zero Cross'

NEW YORK — The 9/11 Museum opening this spring plans to feature the “Ground Zero Cross.”

But atheists say it should not be a part of the museum on government-leased property.

They’re arguing before a federal appeals court that the “Ground Zero Cross,” as it’s known, should not be featured at the museum.

They rallied outside the courthouse Thursday before oral arguments were presented to a three-judge panel.

Their complaint is about the 17-foot cross found in the rubble of the World Trade Center.

The two beams standing at the top of twisted steel and crumpled concrete became a sign of hope for first responders, victims’ families and thousands around the nation.

But atheists say it is a religious symbol and it should not be part of a museum on government property.

On the other side of the issue, the Becket Fund, which has filed a brief on behalf of cross supporters, says the cross is part of 9/11 history, regardless of its religious meaning, so it’s inclusion at the museum is appropriate.

A ruling on the case could be two months away.