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Tuesday, 21 May, 2002, 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK
Fury over 11 September handbag
Handbag showing WTC attacks
Relatives are appalled by the bags
A handbag which depicts the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Center in New York has sparked fury in amongst victims' relatives.

The beaded bag, which is on sale at Australian fashion chain Quick Brown Fox for A$159 (60), has proved a best-seller.


Some people have been upset. Others have looked at them as a type of ode to the event, so its a collector's item

Tess Reeves, Quick Brown Fox owner
Relatives of victims have denounced it as outrageous and insensitive and they accuse the company of cashing in on their tragedy.

But the owner of Quick Brown Fox says it is simply an artistic interpretation of the event.

The handbags, which originate from Beijing, show the World Trade Center being hit by the first terrorist plane, with the second plane looming into view.

Fashion statement

Paul Gyulavary, whose twin brother Peter was killed in the attack was appalled by the bag.

Mourner at looks at photos of the missing
Thousands were killed in the attacks
"The enormity of what happened and what has happened to me makes this seem all the more pathetic," he said in an interview with the Herald Sun daily.

"The whole thing showed me we are on this earth to contribute to humanity and make this a better place. I can't see how something like this is going to do that," Mr Gyulavary said.

The owner of Quick Brown Fox Tess Reeves has defended the design: "I thought they were an artistic interpretation of what is a tragic event."

"They are the sort of thing high fashion would do and thousands of them are being shipped to Europe every day."

Big seller

She said that despite the controversial subject matter, the bags had nearly sold out in her shops in Sydney and Melbourne .

"Some people have been upset. Others have looked at them as a type of ode to the event, so it's a collector's item," she said.

The events of 11 September have put entrepreneurs and victims at loggerheads.

Shortly after the disaster there was an outcry when T-shirts showing the attacks began selling like hot cakes in India.

And in New York street traders profited from unofficial memorabilia honouring the city's fire-fighters and police - much to the disgust of both departments.

See also:

23 Oct 01 | South Asia
26 Oct 01 | Americas
04 Dec 01 | Americas
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