Crown of Statue of Liberty to be open to public again
Crown of Statue of Liberty to be open to public again on U.S. national day
NEW YORK, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Visitors are likely to enter the inside of the crown of the Statue of Liberty in New York on the national day July 4th, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Tuesday.
New York Daily News quoted Salazar as saying that "we will endeavor to do everything we can" to have the Statue of Liberty and its thrilling spiral staircase climb to her crown open to the public by America's 233rd birthday - the first time since the Sept. 11 attacks, 2001.
The news report cited Salazar as saying that his department, which controls the landmark, is considering implementing a ticketing or lottery system to allow small groups of people to enter the crown at specific times, similar to crowd control and safety procedures at the Washington Monument on the National Mall.
The National Park Service, the Interior agency that cares for Liberty Island, a small uninhabited island in New York Harbor best known as the location of the Statue of Liberty, shut down the Statue after the Sept. 11 attacks, citing security concerns.
Liberty's base, pedestal, and observation deck were re-opened in August 2004, but the crown remained closed - the only site in the National Park system off-limits to the public since Sept. 11 attacks.
While the number of visitors to Statue of Liberty, which the United States received as a gift from France in 1886, fell in the aftermath of Sept. 11 attacks, attendance has climbed in recent years - to 3.2 million in 2007, according to the paper.
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