The Statue of Liberty reopened to the public on Sunday after New York state agreed to carry the cost of running the site during the federal government shutdown, according to NBC News. The site was previously closed on October 1 at the beginning of the government shut down, which closed many federal parks and sites through not only the country, but also the world.
Ferry trips to Liberty Island resumed at 9 a.m., with sightseers lined up at the ferry terminal at Battery Park. Many tourists had been very disappointed to miss the site.
Simon and Dominik Balz, brothers visiting New York from Switzerland, had booked their trip in May with plans to visit the Statue of Liberty. Then the government shut down "so we were very disappointed," Simon told NBC News. They were very excited to hear the site was reopening.
The Statue of Liberty is "well-known all over the world," Simon said. "It's very special."
Another traveler, Esther Athanase, who was visiting from France, had also booked her trip months ago.
"We have to do this," she said. "It's an American symbol. And it was a gift from France."
A student from Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Albin-Hamad, came to Battery Park to get a good view of the statue.
"I assumed it was closed, but at least I could see it," he said. He was pleasantly surprised to find out it had been reopened.
On Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state would pay the costs to keep the statue open, which runs at approximately $61,000 a day. They will keep it open through October 17, at which point, if the government shutdown hasn't been resolved, they will renegotiate to continue keeping it open.
"When you close down the Statue of Liberty, you close down a good portion of the tourism that comes to New York City, and that is untold millions of dollars of damage," Governor Cuomo said.
Video on the history of the statue of Liberty.
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