Statue of Liberty closed for upgrades

The Statue of Liberty, an icon of liberty and freedom, celebrated its 125th anniversary last month.

“Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World,” the statue’s official name, was officially dedicated on Oct. 28, 1886. The original ceremony featured a ticker-tape parade and a flotilla that included almost 300 vessels that sailed to Liberty Island, formerly known as Bedloe’s Island.

More than 4 million people visit the the Statue of Liberty annually. The monument, located in New Jersey, is a symbol of New York and the nation.

“The Statue has evolved in meaning since she first graced our shores 125 years ago,” David Luchsinger, superintendent of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, said in a news release. “She began as a symbol of friendship between France and the United States, evolved into a symbol of our great country, and is known today as an international symbol of freedom for people everywhere. This coming Friday is an opportunity to celebrate her complete legacy.”

The Statue of Liberty closed Oct. 29 to start a $27.25 million rehabilitation project that includes a number of upgrades, including safety changes.

“Two years ago, when we reopened Lady Liberty’s crown to visitors for the first time since the September 11 attacks, I promised that we would continue to upgrade the interior to make it safer and more accessible for all,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in an August news release. “With (the upgrades), we are taking a major step in bringing a 19th Century icon into the 21st Century.”

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