A Bowlful of Cherries

Celebrating Matty and Noah

Purchasing Liberty

The Statue of Liberty, closed to the public since 11 September 2001, will reopen to visitors in July.

Given the possibility of a terrorist attack to one of the nation’s most recognizable landmarks, there was concern about trapped visitors, especially since the museum lacked emergency exits. The Park Service invested nearly $20 million in a secondary screening process, new fire detection equipment, and new emergency exits and stairwells in the pedestal and museum.

Safety concerns will still prevent visitors from climbing to the crown of the statue itself. The narrow spiral staircase in the statue was intended only for maintenance crews and does not meet local fire, building, or safety codes, according to the visitor use and protection plan unveiled today.

The private sector chipped in over $7 million for security and safety improvements, including a $3 million donation from Wal-Mart.

It’s about time the Park Service reopened the statue, but it concerns me that they relied on private donations to fund half the improvements. Is it appropriate to criticize the marketing deals the Park Service made with Wal-Mart, American Express, and Folgers to raise money? Is it “crass commercialism” of national monuments in the United States? Does it send the “wrong kind of message about who we are” (probably not)? Is it becoming if there’s a Wal-Mart logo on the torch? Will there be?

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Written by Michael

30 Mar 2004 at 112pm

Posted in Misc.

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