After Almost Reopening on Eve of Sandy, Statue of Liberty Will Remain Closed Indefinitely

The Statue of Liberty was scheduled to reopen to the public after extensive renovations on Sunday, October 28, but the approach of Hurricane Sandy forced the National Parks Service to postpone the celebrations, and the damage inflicted on Liberty Island by the storm mean that the iconic lady will remain inaccessible indefinitely. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced plans to reopen the site “as soon as we possibly can” yesterday, the Daily News reports, but he did not set a schedule.

Though the monumental sculpture was not damaged by the storm, the small island on which it sits was completely flooded. The water caused extensive damage to its dock, electrical and heating systems, landscaping, and various other features.

Salazar said the cost of those repairs, and similar work that needs to be done on nearby Ellis Island, which was also badly affected by Sandy, would cost in the region of $59 million, which he hopes Congress will make available expediently. “We’re going to get this done as soon as we possibly can because it’s such an important icon for New York and America,” he said.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Photo: Restoration work on the Statue of Liberty in 1984; via Statue of Liberty National Monument/Facebook.)