Statue of Liberty reopens amid federal shutdown
NEW YORK — Lady Liberty was once again welcoming visitors to her shores Sunday after the state agreed to shoulder the costs of running the famed statue during the federal government shutdown.
Eager sightseers stood in line in Manhattan's Battery Park, waiting for the ferry trips to the Statue of Liberty, which had been shut since Oct. 1.
Esther Athanase, a 26-year-old au pair from Le Havre, France, was using a ticket she'd booked months ago with a friend. “We have to do this,” she said. “It's an American symbol. And it was a gift from France.”
Ahmed Albin-Hamad, 24, a Saudi Arabian student at Drexel University, said he came to Battery Park to get a view of the statue.
“I assumed it was closed, but at least I could see it,” he said. He was surprised and excited when he found out the statue had reopened.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that the state would pay about $61,600 a day to reopen Liberty Island National Park through Oct. 17. If the shutdown is not resolved by then, officials said, they will renegotiate to keep it open.
On Sunday, Cuomo said it was in the state's economic interest to make sure the statue was accessible.
“When you close down the Statue of Liberty, you close down a good portion of the tourism that comes to New York City, and that is untold millions of dollars of damage,” he said.
New York has 33 sites under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, and they have been shut since Oct. 1 during the partial federal government shutdown. The sites include the statue and nearby Ellis Island, which remains closed for repairs since Superstorm Sandy last year.
Nearly 4 million people visited Lady Liberty in 2011, generating $174 million in economic activity, the park service said.
Governors in several other states have asked for authority to reopen parks within their borders, citing economic losses from closures. Arizona reopened the Grand Canyon on Saturday. Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota and Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado also reopened along with several parks in Utah, according to the parks service website.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Man dies in jump from Route 130 overpass onto passing tractor-trailer in Hempfield
- Starkey: Penguins’ season impressive so far
- Penguins a love affair for Evancho sisters
- McKeesport property deemed ripe for development
- Clairton police present interactive seminar on use of force
- Pirates’ search for division title rests on starting rotation’s health
- Hornqvist’s net-front presence with Penguins could be valuable asset
- Kittanning shelter creating calm haven for interviewing young victims
- Damaged Marina at McKees Point still slated to open in May
- Pirates again approach Polanco about contract extension
- Figure in probe of improper influence in federal investor visa program gave Rendell $15K illegally