Since the terrorists attacks took place on September 11, 2001, the crown of the Statue of Liberty has been closed to the public. It is said that the metal staircase leading to the statue is a fire hazard and a terror risk. Currently, tourists are only allowed as far as the pedestal at the statue’s toes. The House has been working on getting park officials to reopen the entire statue, but the government believes it’s too dangerous to chance it.

For two years now, Representative Anthony Weiner has been working to add an amendment to a spending bill to be given to the National Park Service for $1 million to study how to safely reopen the 168 step spiral staircase. On Tuesday, the ammendment passed by a voice vote. The money is not to be specifically used for the reopening of the crown but for safety improvements and other purposes.

The statue was closed from 2001 until 2004. During that time, $20 million was spent on security and safety improvements. They added a bomb detection device that blows air into clothing and checks for particles of explosives residue. Bomb-sniffing dogs are occasionally seen as well. Before boarding the ferry to Liberty and Ellis Islands, visitors are required to pass through a security screening system similar to those found in airports. They do not allow backpacks, strollers, or any large items into the ferries or the monument. They also do not allow eating, drinking, or smoking inside the monument.

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886. It was proclaimed a national monument in 1924 and restored on July 4, 1986. Its torch has been closed since 1916.

Its peak tourist months is between June and September as well as holidays and weekends. A ferry is the only way to get to the island. Though entrance into the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is free, ferry tickets cost $11.50 for visitors over age 12, $9.50 for senior citizens 62 and older, and $4.50 for children. The number of tourists who enter the park is limited so visitors are required to show a “Time Pass” given with their ferry ticket in order to enter the monument. There are guided tours of the exhibits located inside the statue, and tourists can walk through the 11-point-star-shaped Fort Wood and take an elevator to the pedestal observatory located ten stories up to get a better view of the harbor. Their view may improve if the crown is ever permitted to be reopened.

For related articles and information visit

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,286882,00.html, www.statueoflibertyferry.com, and http://www.nps.gov/stli/planyourvisit/things2know.htm.

, , and .Have you been to see the Statue of Liberty? Do you think the crown should be reopened?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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