Statue of Liberty reopens amid federal shutdown
NEW YORK — Lady Liberty was once again welcoming visitors to her shores today after the state agreed to shoulder the costs of running the famed statue during the federal government shutdown.
Eager sightseers stood in line in Manhattan’s Battery Park, waiting for the ferry trips to the Statue of Liberty, which had been shut since Oct. 1.
Esther Athanase, a 26-year-old au pair from Le Havre, France, was using a ticket she’d booked months ago with a friend. “We have to do this,” she said. “It’s an American symbol. And it was a gift from France.”
Ahmed Albin-Hamad, 24, a Saudi Arabian student at Drexel University in Pennsylvania, said he came to Battery Park to get a view of the statue.
“I assumed it was closed, but at least I could see it,” he said. He was surprised and excited when he found out the statue had reopened.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that the state would pay about $61,600 a day to reopen Liberty Island National Park through Oct. 17. If the shutdown is not resolved by then, officials said, they will renegotiate to keep it open.