Statue of Liberty to reopen on state funds amid U.S. gov't shutdown

Updated 2018-01-22 17:22:00 Xinhua

Members of the U.S. Park Police place signage near the ferry dock for the Statue of Liberty announcing its closure following a U.S. government shutdown in Manhattan, New York, U.S., Jan. 20, 2018.

New York City's iconic landmark the Statue of Liberty will reopen Monday at the expense of state funds following a brief closure as a result of the U.S. federal government shutdown.

"We've contacted the federal Department of the Interior and we worked out an arrangement where New York State will fund the federal employees who operate the Statue of Liberty so it will reopen tomorrow at state expense," New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday when announcing the decision at a press conference.

According to a news release published on the governor's website, the cost of keeping the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island open is 65,000 U.S. dollars per day.

However, the iconic statue generates a tourist revenue that far outweighs its operational cost, making a major contribution to the New York State economy.

"We don't want to lose the income," Cuomo said.

The Statue of Liberty, located on Liberty Island within the state of New York, is among the 417 national park sites operated by the federal National Park Service (NPS).

According to an annual report by the NPS, 4.5 million people visited Liberty Island in 2016, generating 263.2 million dollars in visitor spending per year and supporting 3,400 jobs, with an economic output of 364 million dollars.

Despite the reopening of the Statue of Liberty, many other national parks and monuments will remain closed or partially closed as a result of the government shutdown starting on Saturday.

The National Parks Conservation Association estimated that about one-third of the 417 national park sites were shuttered.

"Park visitors are advised to use extreme caution if choosing to enter NPS property, as NPS personnel will not be available to provide guidance, assistance, maintenance, or emergency response," the NPS warned in a notice to visitors.

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