Emily GirschDec 4, 2017, 7:14 pmDec 5, 2017, 12:15 pm

Statue of Liberty’s original torch to be exhibited in new Liberty Island museum

Officials celebrate groundbreaking of facility that will expand on the statue's history

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LIBERTY ISLAND — Architects and staff celebrated the groundbreaking of a new Liberty Island museum dedicated to the history of the Statue of Liberty.

"We're very excited because this museum will tell lots of the history of the Statue of Liberty. It will hold the original torch. It will have an immersive theater and it will be a great place for the people who come out to the Statue of Liberty to add to their visit,” said Stephen Briganti, CEO of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation.

With over 4 million statue visitors per year, the 26,000-square-foot museum will be open to everyone, not just those with crown and pedestal passes, Briganti says.

"The inspiration for the museum is that not everyone who visits the statue can get into the statue so we decided to bring part of the statue out," he said.

The principal designer of the museum, Edwin Schlossberg, says both sides of his family came to the U.S. from Russia through Ellis Island, making this project particularly special.

"There will be a movie, which is huge, then we show the artifacts which is how the statue was made and then we show how the image of liberty, the statue itself, has been shown all around the world as the place where liberty can be preserved," Schlossberg said.

Architects say it will take about a year to finish the building and another six months for the exhibits to be set up. The museum is expected to open in spring 2019.

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