New Statue of Liberty Museum to Open in 2019
PHOTO: Statue of Liberty (photo courtesy Thinkstock)
A new Statue of Liberty Museum was unveiled today on Liberty Island by the The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. (SOLEIF), with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior.
The museum is scheduled to open in 2019 and will display multiple exhibits about the history of Lady Liberty as well as her future. The 26,000-square-foot museum, with fundraising led by Diane von Furstenberg, will now have a year-round attraction to experience on the island.
“The Statue of Liberty is not just one of the most recognized monuments in the world, but an international symbol of hope that deserves to have her story shared with everyone who visits Liberty Island,” said Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation president and CEO Stephen Briganti. “We are so honored to have Diane von Furstenberg, who was so inspired by the Statue herself when she first arrived in America, leading the fundraising campaign for the new museum.”
This is the first new building to be constructed on the island since the 1980s. It has been designed by architecture firm FXFOWLE and exhibitions are being created by experience design firm ESI Design.
The current museum, located inside the the monument is only accessible to approximately 20 percent of the visitors to the island due to security measures put in place after Sept. 11. The new building will bring the history of the statue to everyone who visits the island.
Von Furstenberg will lead the fundraising charge as chair of the fundraising campaign, which seeks to raise $100 million for the foundation.
"Lady Liberty is the symbol of everything America is about: freedom, hope, possibility and resilience. It is She that millions of immigrants saw first as they arrived in this country, their hearts full of dreams for a brighter future. Now it is my hope that the Statue of Liberty and her incredible story will live on and on, inspiring generations for years to come," said von Furstenberg.
It was von Furstenberg’s idea to create a mural at the entrance to the museum, which will be inspired by the American flag. There will be 50 “Liberty Stars” sculpted into a mural crafted from the original hand-forged iron bars, created by engineer Gustave Eiffel that supported the Statue of Liberty for 100 years. The underwriting of each Liberty Star is $2 million.
“With state-of-the-art exhibitions and iconic artifacts including the Statue’s original torch, the new Statue of Liberty Museum will ensure that future generations know, understand, and appreciate all that Lady Liberty represents in America and around the world,” said Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island superintendent John Piltzecker.
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