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NEW YORK: The Statue of Liberty, which has welcomed generations of immigrants to US shores, is getting a new museum at a time when immigration is an explosive topic.

The $100 million Statue of Liberty Museum, which is located near the base of “Lady Liberty” in New York harbour, opens on Thursday.

Construction of the 26,000-square-foot glass-walled structure fringed with copper began in October 2016.

From the rooftop of the new building, visitors have a sweeping view of the harbour, like “on the prow of a ship,” said project designer Cameron Ringness.

“You get to climb up and you have these amazing views and a new perspective of the statue and the harbour,” Ringness said.

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the United States, greeting some 4.5 million people a year from around the world.

Entry to the museum is included in the price of the ticket for the ferry that takes visitors to Liberty Island from Manhattan.

The centrepiece of the museum is Lady Liberty’s imposing original torch, which was replaced with a new one in 1986.

Exhibits and videos trace the history of the iconic monument designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi and given as a gift to the United States to mark the 100th anniversary of US independence in 1876.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2019