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FDNY seeking other ideas after complaints on memorial

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NEW YORK — The fire department is exploring other options for a memorial to the Sept. 11 attacks after being criticized for a proposed statue that some said represented political correctness run amok.

The department's first choice was a statue based on a photograph of three firefighters raising a U.S. flag whose ethnicities were altered.

The three men in the photograph — taken by Tom Franklin of The Record of Hackensack, N.J. — are white. The statue depicts firefighters who are black, white and Hispanic.

Whether the revised work would exactly replicate the photo or whether a different image would be used was not mentioned in a statement issued Thursday by Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta.

The property-management company that owns the fire department headquarters building in Brooklyn had already commissioned the work inspired by the photograph.

The bronze, 19-foot statue cost $180,000 and was to be erected this spring.

Scoppetta said he will work with the property owner to discuss and explore other ideas to "ensure a fitting memorial."