Government Set To Reopen Statue Of Liberty’s Crown on Fourth of July

May 8, 2009

New York (ChattahBox) – For the first time since 9/11, the federal government is reopening the crown of the Statue of Liberty on July the Fourth, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Friday morning, allowing tourists to once again climb to it’s peak. Salazar announced the reopening, with the National Park Service planning a lottery for those wishing to climb the narrow, circular staircase of 168 steps inside the statue. But not everyone is celebrating the decision.

Park Service deputy director, Daniel N. Wenk, has protested the reopening, saying that the fire and safety codes are not at all met in that area of the statue, and that none of the staircases were meant to be used by the general public in the first place. Instead, the stairs were added by creator Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi so that it could be maintained as needed.

And, he says, the crown is not the only one area of danger to tourists.

“A key danger is that once a visitor begins the climb, turning back before reaching the crown is nearly impossible,” Wenk explained.

“Each person is blocked by hundreds of people in front and behind.”

So far, the crown is still set to reopen, despite his concerns. However, the park service has been working to create more restrictions that could improve public safety.  The U.S. received the Statue as a gift from France in 1885 and is a symbol of freedom standing on its island in New York City’s harbor.


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