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Statue of Liberty’s New Museum


The original torch and flame, and full scale face model (R) are displayed in the new Statue of Liberty Museum, on Liberty Island, in New York, May 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Statue of Liberty’s New Museum
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A new museum is opening at the Statute of Liberty, to replace a smaller one that had been inside the statue’s pedestal.

Set to open on Thursday, the 2,415-square-meter museum will be the new home for the statue’s first torch and many other historical pieces.

John Piltzecker is the National Park Service’s top administrator for the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island.

Piltzecker explained that the old museum’s small size limited the number of people who could visit it.

The new museum is open to anyone who comes to Liberty Island, with admission included in the price of the ferry ticket.

Cameron Ringness is the project designer at FXCollaborative, which created the museum’s look.

The Great Hall at Ellis Island, circa 1912, where immigrants underwent medical and legal examinations before immigration officers. (NPS/Statue of Liberty NM)
The Great Hall at Ellis Island, circa 1912, where immigrants underwent medical and legal examinations before immigration officers. (NPS/Statue of Liberty NM)

Ringness noted that the new museum is meant to connect to Lady Liberty, using the same granite stone that is part of the statue pedestal. “We wanted to enhance the feeling that it’s really special to be in proximity to the statute,” Ringness said.

Inside, there are three main spaces. One theater shows the history and meaning of the statue. Another space shows what statue designer Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi’s work room looked like.

In the third space, visitors can take pictures of themselves. They can also write about what liberty means to them, as they look at the torch and a copy of the statue’s face.

That last part was important, said Edwin Schlossberg. Schlossberg is the president and lead designer at ESI design, which created the exhibition spaces. He noted that the statue “was built to congratulate the United States for fighting the civil war to free slaves.” Schlossberg added that the idea of struggling for liberty has been important to the Statue’s history. “That idea had to continue as a core value of this experience,” he said.

I’m John Russell.

Deepti Hajela reported on this story for the Associated Press. John Russell adapted it for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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Words in This Story

pedestal – n. the base of a column or other tall object

artifact – n. a simple object (such as a tool or weapon) that was made by people in the past

proximity – n. the state of being near

replica – n. an exact or very close copy of something

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