If you’re planning to visit one of the country most prominent symbols of democracy, you only have a couple of months.
The Statue of Liberty will be closing again for a one year renovation, this after a previous eight-year shut down following security concerns after September 11th. The statue opened back again in July 2009 but will now be closing for renovation. According to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the cost for getting the statue back to her former glory will be $27.25 million dollars. Tourists will not be allowed to visit during any of the work as the National Park Service says in the event of an emergency workers would not be able to get them out. The work to address structural and cosmetic elements will be done by a New Jersey contractor, Joseph A. Natoli Construction Corporation.
The last day to visit the monument will be October 28, exactly 125 years after the French gift was finished and dedicated by President Grover Cleveland. Liberty Island, formally Bedloe’s Island, will remain open with view of the Statue of Liberty largely unobstructed, according to the officials’ statement. Officials hope to reopen the statue in October 2012.
While the actual statue will be closed to the public, Liberty Island itself will not be- a point that is very important to the ferry businesses in the area. Mike Burke, a vice president and chief operating officer of Statue Cruises, said in an interview with The New York Times:
“It’s a restriction, not a closing….We are concerned people will not hear the correct message, and they’ll focus on the word ‘close.’ The operative word to not use — please, please, please — is close. They’re going to restrict access to the statue’s pedestal and the interior. That’s the only change. Everything on Liberty Island outside of the statue is unaffected. There will be no scaffolding and very little interruption of activity.”
Still, no matter how they emphasize the point, business that benefit from the Statue’s visitors are sure to lose out during the year ahead. For most tourists, Liberty Island without Miss Liberty just isn’t the same.