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Monday, August 15, 2011

Statue of Liberty to Close for One Year

But visitors will still be able to visit Liberty Island throughout the yearlong renovations.

The Statue of Liberty will close in October for a yearlong renovation to make the interior safer and more accessible, the U.S. government announced Wednesday.

The National Park Service plans to begin the temporary closure shortly after the statue celebrates its 125th anniversary on Oct. 28. Officials, however, say that Liberty Island, which is home to the statue, will remain open to visitors throughout the renovations.*

The work, which will cost an estimated $27.25 million, will focus predominantly on installing updated fire and electrical systems and renovating staircases, elevators and bathrooms.

The statue also closed in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks so that workers could improve the monument's security. It opened again in 2004. According to the National Parks Service, about 3.4 million people visit the statue each year.

The monument, which was built in the 1880s as a gift from France, remains a popular landmark for visitors to New York City.

Tegan Firth, a spokesman for Statue Cruises, a ferry company that shuttles visitors to the island, told the Associated Press she was confident that business would remain vibrant. "The entire experience of visiting these national landmarks of the United States remains absolutely the same," she said.

*Correction: An earlier version of this post mistakenly stated that Ellis Island is home to the Statue of Liberty. The statue is on Liberty Island.

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