Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island Museum open to visitors

Lady Liberty is welcoming visitors again.

The Statue of Liberty Museum and the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration swung their doors open last week as part of New York City’s plan to reopen museums and cultural institutions.

Like many sites across the country, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island have been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. And like many sites, they are now operating at reduced capacity and following health and safety protocols as it relates to face masks and social distancing. There also are staggered entry times and tickets must first be purchased online.

The statue, a gift from France that was first placed on its pedestal in New York’s harbor in 1886, annually draws an average of 3.5 million visitors per year. The grounds where the statue sits on Ellis Island is revered as the processing portal for more than 12 million immigrants who came to the United States between 1892 and 1954.

In addition to the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art just reopened, and the American Museum of Natural History will open Wednesday.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum will be reopening on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks next month, first to those who lost loved ones and then to the general public, museum officials said, according to the New York Daily News.

The memorial plaza had been open to the public with social distancing restrictions since early July, but the museum remained closed, as did other cultural institutions.

“We are extremely pleased to announce the reopening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, a physical testament to the triumph of hope and our potential for resilience in the face of adversity and unfathomable loss,” Alice Greenwald, the 9/11 museum’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

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