By KATHERINE ROTH
.c The Associated Press
NEW YORK (Sept. 18) - A statue of a falling woman - designed as a memorial to those who jumped or fell to their death from the World Trade Center - was abruptly draped in cloth and curtained off Wednesday because of complaints that it was too disturbing.
``We apologize if anyone was upset or offended by the display of this sculpture. It was certainly not our intent. The piece will be removed this evening,'' said Suzanne Halpin, spokeswoman for Rockefeller Center.
Eric Fischl's bronze, ``Tumbling Woman,'' depicts a naked woman with arms and legs flailing. It went on view about a week ago in the lower concourse at Rockfeller Center and was supposed to remain on display through Monday.
Numerous news photos captured images of desperate people leaping to their deaths as the 110-story towers burned.
Some passers-by in Rockefeller Center complained that the sculpture was too graphic.
``I don't think it dignifies their deaths,'' said Paul Labb. ``It's not art. It is very disrupting when you see it.''
``The sculpture was not meant to hurt anybody,'' Fischl said in a statement. ``It was a sincere expression of deepest sympathy for the vulnerability of the human condition. Both specifically towards the victims of Sept. 11 and towards humanity in general.''
Some onlookers said there is a need for art that captures the horror of Sept. 11.
``I don't think that it's done in bad taste,'' Christine Defonces said before the statue was covered. ``It's an artist's reaction to what happened.''