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STATUE OF LIBERTY Will Close for a Year to Further Improve Safety – NYTimes.com

August 11, 2011

Statue of Liberty to Close for a Year

By JAMES BARRON and SYDNEY EMBER

Published: August 10, 2011

After the 9/11 attacks, the federal government closed the Statue of Liberty National Monument, the symbol of a nation’s dreams and one of the city’s best-known and most-visited tourist attractions. Allowing people inside would be unsafe, the National Park Service said, because rescuers might not be able to get them out in an emergency.

The Statue of Liberty, seen on the day its crown reopened in 2009, will be shut down on Oct. 29, the day after the 125th anniversary of its dedication. It is expected to reopen in a year, after safety renovations.

Three years later, the base, the pedestal and the observation deck were reopened after $6.7 million in improvements to fire and security systems. Five years after that, in 2009, the crown — and the 146 narrow steps to it — reopened on the Fourth of July.

Now the statue is closing again.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says it needs a $27.25 million renovation for additional safety improvements that he promised in 2009. Officials said the work, which is expected to take a year, could not begin sooner because they did not finish the planning and arrange the financing until a few months ago.

And, they added on Wednesday, they did not want the statue to be closed on the 125th anniversary of its dedication on Oct. 28. So they will shut it down the next day.

via Statue of Liberty Will Close for a Year to Further Improve Safety – NYTimes.com.

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