Statue of Liberty's crown may soon be reopened for public

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New York, July 4 : As the US celebrates Independence Day, the public may soon be able to take in the view from the Statue of Liberty's crown.

According to reports, the country's federal government is taking steps that could one day reopen the Statue of Liberty's crown for the first time since the World Trade Center attack.

Rep. Anthony Weiner, who has waged an aggressive crusade to make the landmark fully accessible, called the move "a dramatic breakthrough".

"There is no reason why we should have one more celebration of Independence Day or one more commemoration of 9/11 with Liberty's crown closed," the New York Daily News quoted him, as saying.

The National Park Service, which has limited Liberty Island visitors to her pedestal, on June 24 posted a request for bids from engineering and architectural firms to study what it takes to open the entire statue to the public.

But don't plan on reaching the top any time soon - officials don't expect answers until early next year, and there is no guarantee the crown will ever reopen.

"We are asking the firm to answer two questions. Is there a way to make changes to the structure itself to make it comply with safety codes? If they say, no...they would look at a way to minimize the risk," said Darren Boch, a spokesman for the National Park Service.

The feds shut the site after the Trade Center attack along with a host of other national parks that have since reopened.

The statue's pedestal was opened to spectators in 2004, but the crown and narrow staircase leading up to it remain off limits.

ANI

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