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Lady Liberty Reopens Today

August 3, 2004

Lady Liberty Reopens Today
August 3, 2004 – Despite the recent terror warnings in New York, New Jersey, and the Washington, D.C., area, Lady Liberty reopens today after closing nearly three years ago.

"I think it’s significant that, despite the raising of the alert levels, we are still going ahead with the reopening," Assistant Interior Secretary Craig Manson said Monday. "I think it shows the world that liberty cannot be intimidated."

On Sunday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the new terrorist alert for New York, New Jersey, and the Washington, D.C., area stemmed from intelligence suggesting car or truck bomb attacks – not something likely to occur on Liberty Island.

The torch and crown of the statue have not reopened due to the confined stairways. However, according to CNN, visitors may now choose between two tours: a walk around the promenade atop the star-shaped fort on which the statue stands or an elevator ride inside the pedestal to the calf level of the figure, about 10 stories high, to gaze upward through a glass partition at the steel girders and armatures holding it together and view the harbor panorama from a narrow observation deck.

The museum inside the base of the statue will also reopen. The museum showcases the history of the Statue of Liberty, including such artifacts as the original lit-from-within torch, which was replaced during a 1986 renovation with a gilded version lit from outside.

Larry Parkinson, the Interior Department’s deputy assistant secretary for law enforcement and security, said the government "has not foreclosed" the idea of eventually reopening the statue’s body so visitors could once again climb to the crown, but safety factors make that unlikely.

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