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Statue of Liberty’s Crown Will Reopen July 4

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The Statue of Liberty’s crown, which was closed after the 9/11 attacks, will reopen to the public on July 4, the White House announced on Friday morning. The decision reversed the policy of the Bush administration.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar formally announced the decision at a news conference at 9 a.m. on Ellis Island. “On July 4, we are giving America a special gift,” Mr. Salazar said.

No more than 10 people will be allowed in the crown at a time, he said, and officials anticipate that will allow for 30 visitors an hour. He estimated that 50,000 people would be able to visit the crown in the first year and that the number would be increased later to 100,000 a year. A spokeswoman for Mr. Salazar said that the method for distributing tickets had yet to be determined but that the secretary was committed to making sure the process was fair and equitable. Early reports that a lottery system would be used were incorrect, she said.

The statue’s torch was closed in 1916 after being damaged by a saboteur’s bomb. The entire statue, including the crown, was closed after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The base of the statue reopened to the public on Aug. 3, 2004, after a $20 million effort to improve fire safety, security and evacuation routes. (The park service was criticized for its delays in reopening the base and for relying heavily on a private group, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, to raise money for the project.) But federal officials said the crown could not be safely reopened because of the difficulty of getting people out in an emergency.

Read more: Statue of Liberty’s Crown Will Reopen July 4

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