Liberty's Crown May Reopen by July 4th
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2009 7:02 PM CDT
The Statue of Liberty, in an undated file photo.   (AP Photo/File)

(Newser) – The Statue of Liberty's crown may be open again for visitors by July 4th, Reuters reports. The crown has been closed since the 9/11 attacks, but Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he hopes to have it open, at least to a small groups, by the nation's birthday. Given the lack of exits and its narrow stairwell, the days of allowing hundreds at a time into the statue are likely over.

"If you put several hundred people in there and there is some kind of event, lots of people could be killed very quickly," Salazar said. The statue may adopt a ticketing or lottery system, similar to safety procedures at the Washington Monument. A museum and observation deck at the museum's base were reopened in 2004, but access beyond that has been prohibited.