xi's moments
Home | Americas

Lady Liberty now has museum in New York to tell her story

By ZHANG RUINAN in New York | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-05-18 00:04

The Statue of Liberty's original torch and flame are displayed in the sculpture's new namesake museum on Liberty Island in New York Harbor on Thursday. Lady Liberty can be seen in the background. [Photo by Zhang Ruinan/China Daily]

The 4.5 million tourists who flock to the Statue of Liberty every year on Liberty Island in New York Harbor now can learn the story of the famous sculpture at its namesake museum that opened on Thursday.

After more than two years of construction with about $100 million in public funds, the 26,000-square-foot space is now home to the statue's first torch and other historical pieces.

Built by the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation and the National Park Service, the museum is the biggest addition to the area since the statue was unveiled in 1886.

The Statue of Liberty was one of the biggest attractions for the more than 65 million visitors to the Big Apple last year. Roughly 80 percent of New York City's tourists are Americans, but the 20 percent who hail from other countries accounted for about half the $45 billion in tourist dollars spent in the city last year.

China sends more than 1 million visitors to New York City each year, surpassed only by Great Britain and Canada.

"I really like being able to see the torch up close, and I also really like the video display – being able to see the history, and everybody gets to learn the history of how it came to be," said Michael Wilson, a Kansan who was visiting New York for the second time.

"What I found the most interesting is the timing – it is just so good to be here when it's open," he said. "It's not just a display; it's an education."

"It's very nice, it's really well-designed, very informative and pretty high-tech for a museum," said Carrie Blankenship, who was visiting the island for the first time.

"I like the details that the videos give you so that you will be able to see more inside the statue," she said.

After 9/11, the city tightened security. In 2009, the National Park Service restricted the number of people who could go inside the statue's stone pedestal and climb to the crown.

Only about 400 people are allowed to visit the crown and pedestal daily, as thousands of people shuffle off the ferries to the island.

Moving the original torch and other artifacts that had previously been in a smaller museum inside the statue's pedestal allows anyone on the island a chance to take a glance at the history of the goddess.

Access to the museum is free with the purchase of an $18.50 ferry ticket to Liberty Island.

There are three main spaces in the new museum. An immersive theater shows the story of the statue – offering details about how French workers constructed the 150-foot-tall neoclassical sculpture, as well as how the statue became a symbol of freedom across the world.

In another gallery, visitors from different countries can add their photos and reflections to a growing digital display on a huge LED screen. At the same time, visitors can take a look at the original torch and touch a copper replica of Lady Liberty's face.

Another space provides a look into the studio of statue designer Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, highlighting his step-by-step process in creating the statue.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349