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New $100m Statue of Liberty Museum opens in New York

statue liberty museum

The Statue of Liberty Museum has opened to the public after a $100 million renovation. The 26,000-square-foot space features historic relics and interactive exhibits.

Built by the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation and the National Park Service, the new museum is the biggest addition to the area around the Statue of Liberty since it was first unveiled in 1886.

The attraction includes full-scale replicas of Lady Liberty’s face and feet, a recreation of the workshop in Paris where Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi oversaw the sculpture’s creation, and the original, 3,600-pound torch.

New museum galleries and immersive theatre

The Statue of Liberty Museum consists of three gallery spaces – the Immersive Theater, Engagement Gallery, and Inspiration Gallery.

The immersive theatre is multimedia experience telling the story of the Statue and the ideals she represents. Visitors will enjoy a virtual fly-through ascending the Statue that recreates interior views and sounds.

In the Engagement Gallery, visitors can explore Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s warehouse via a series of multimedia displays. Throughout this section, artefacts, graphics and interactive media explain the Statue’s history, design and role in the world.

Guests will be invited to document their visit and express their views in the Inspiration Gallery, by adding a self-portrait and collage to a digital experience called Becoming Liberty. The tour culminates with an up-close view of Liberty’s original torch.

Celebrity guests attend museum opening

Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Diane von Furstenberg and Nicky Hilton Rothschild were among the celebrity guests to attend the opening celebration on Wednesday (May 15) at Ellis Island.

Approximately 4.3 million people visit Liberty Island annually. The old museum could only handle about 20 percent of daily visitors.

Daily access to the Statue of Liberty is still limited, but the new museum will be open to all. Admission comes free with ferry tickets from Liberty State Park in New Jersey or Battery Park in New York.

Image: Statue of Liberty Museum

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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