The four and a half million people from around the world who visit the Statue of Liberty every year are about to have a new attraction to check out on their next trip to Liberty Island.
The Statue of Liberty Museum and its dozens of exhibits recently opened to the public in a new site away from the entrance to the statue. The original had been located within the statue’s pedestal.
Exhibits include an exact replica of Lady Liberty’s face and original torch and a representation of the workshop belonging to Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the man who brought the copper statue to life. Visitors are also encouraged to touch an exact replica of the statue’s left foot, a holdover from the original museum.
Today, as Americans gaze up at the majestic statue, it still symbolizes home, although Suzanne Mannion, director of public affairs at The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, says that the symbolism of the Statue has evolved over time.
“She wasn’t created with the idea of immigration in mind. In fact, she was dedicated prior to the opening of Ellis Island which opened in 1892, but as soldiers came and went during both World Wars, as immigrants came through the channel and came towards Ellis Island, the statue was the first thing that greeted them,” said Mannion.