A big part of American history is on a small island off the shore of New York City. The Statue of Liberty Museum shows Lady Liberty’s history from a different view. The 26,000-square foot museum is scheduled to open in May 2019.
According to the Liberty Ellis Foundation website, approximately 4 million people visit Liberty Island and the symbolic statue every year. However, only about 20 percent get the chance to see the inside of the statue and the museum underneath, as limited tickets are available each day.
“Security into the Statue of Liberty has cut the number of people that can get in,” said Stephen Briganti, CEO, Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, “So in the 80s we built a very nice little museum inside the statue, but most people weren’t seeing it.”
That’s one of the reasons why they built a new museum. History is not the point for most tourists. Rather, most come here to visit the statue as a must-see attraction.
“They weren’t seeing the original torch; they weren’t really getting the experience of learning more about liberty and the Statue of Liberty, and liberty in general,” Briganti said.
The new museum tells stories about the influence of liberty in the world.
“It [the new museum] reminds everybody exactly why it’s [liberty statue] there and how it all originated and just reminds people how the country started,” said Raoph Delbridge, a tourist from England.
The museum will have three gallery spaces meant to inspire visitors and teach them the history of the statue. Her original torch will also be housed in the gallery. On top of the museum, a view of the statue, Ellis Island, and New York City is visible.
Access to the museum is free with the purchase of a ferry ticket to visit Liberty Island and Ellis Island.