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Wednesday, 20 November, 2002, 20:37 GMT
US outrage at 9/11 trading cards
Tribute cards (Courtesy of Chestnut Publications)
The cards are due to go on sale next month
A Florida manufacturer has caused outrage in the United States with his latest product - a set of trading cards featuring portraits of victims of the 11 September attacks.

The collection - called Heroes of the World Trade Center - is due to go on sale next month.
Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg
Mayor Bloomberg: 'It's disgraceful'

The media has accused the manufacturer of "desecrating sacred memories" and trivialising the tragedy.

The mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg said he had asked lawyers to find ways to prevent the sale of the cards.

"I think it's disgraceful, despicable," he said.

Trading cards - which began with portraits of baseball players - have become a craze among youngsters around the world and now feature almost anything - from cartoon or movie characters to dinosaurs.

Family approval

The cards' manufacturer, Kingsley Barham, has rejected accusations of cashing in on the tragedy.

He says he has written approval from the families of those whose portraits are on the cards.


I don't want anyone saying, 'I'll give you two firefighters for an airline pilot'

Kingsley Barham
"I am providing a service to these families. These people are being individualised and memorialised, and put into a position where they will be remembered and appreciated," Mr Barham said.

He said he is unfairly singled out.

"There's a lot of people cashing in."

Mr Barham said he didn't want people trading them.

"I don't want anyone saying, 'I'll give you two firefighters for an airline pilot'," he said to The New York Post.

"I don't call it a trading card. I call it a tribute card."

Range of subjects

The complete set consists of 202 cards - 170 of them with the portraits of both those who died and survivors of the World Trade Center attack, with a 300-word biography written on the back.

They include everyone from firefighters and policemen to New York's ex-mayor Rudy Giuliani and the current mayor Mr Bloomberg himself.

A further 32 subject cards address questions like - why the towers collapsed? or feature poems.

The cards are to be sold for $2.50 each.

The families of the victims featured on the cards are to receive an eight per cent royalty from the card sales.

Mr Barham said many decided to donate their money to charities.


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