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Donald Trump brands Freedom Tower 'crap'

Billionaire Donald Trump has set his sights on ground zero in New York, declaring today that the proposed new Freedom Tower was 'crap' as he unveiled a rival design.

The business mogul wants to rebuild the twin towers at the World Trade Centre site, almost exactly the same but one foot taller than the 1,360ft buildings destroyed on 11 September 2001.

He branded Daniel Libeskind's plan 'the worst pile of crap architecture I've ever seen in my life' and said it looked like a junk yard.

Proposing the design be scrapped, he presented a model of his envisaged towers at a press conference at Trump Tower on Manhatten. 'If we rebuild the World Trade Centre in the form of a skeleton, the terrorists win,' he said.

'In a nutshell, Freedom Tower should not be allowed to be built. It's not appropriate for downtown Manhattan. It's not appropriate for Manhattan. It's not appropriate for the United States, and it's not appropriate for freedom.'

But he said he would leave developer Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority, which owns the land, to execute the design, which is the work of engineer Ken Gardner.

Silverstein's spokesman said his only concern was to design a `safe and spectacular' Freedom Tower as planned.

The project has been the focus of much criticism in recent weeks. It is already months behind schedule and has had to be redesigned because of security concerns.

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