NEW YORK, Jul 4, 2009 / FW/ — The Fourth of July, the U.S. Independence Day usually means barbecues during the day and watching fireworks at night. And today, there is another important thing happening, after 8 years, the crown of the Statue of Liberty is once again open to the public.
Visits to the crown and pedestal were suspended after September 11, 2001 as a security precaution. The pedestal re-opened to visitors in 2004. But the crown remained closed. With new handrails and a trained medical technician on site plus beefed up security, tourists and New Yorkers can once again enjoy the view from the crown of the Statue of Liberty.
A gift from France to the United States in 1886 to celebrate its centennial and as a symbol of friendship between the two countries established during the American Revolution, the Statue of Liberty (Statue de la Liberté, in French) was sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi.
The statue is of a robed woman holding a torch, and is made of a sheeting of pure copper, hung on a framework of steel with the exception of the flame of the torch, which is coated in gold leaf.
Since the 1940s, it has been claimed that the seven spikes on the crown epitomize the Seven Seas and seven continents. Her torch signifies enlightenment.
The tablet in her hand represents knowledge and shows the date of the United States Declaration of Independence, in roman numerals, July IV, MDCCLXXVI. The general appearance of the statue’s head approximates the Greek Sun-god Apollo or the Roman Sun-god Helios as preserved on an ancient marble tablet.
The Statue of Liberty stands atop a rectangular stonework pedestal with a foundation in the shape of an irregular eleven-pointed star. The statue is 151 ft (46 m) tall, but with the pedestal and foundation, it is 305 ft (93 m) tall.