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Statue of Liberty to reopen in August

National Park Service
Statue of Liberty

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The Statue of Liberty, which has been closed to the public since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, is set to partially reopen on August 3, Interior Secretary Gale Norton announced Wednesday.

The reopening will allow visitors to tour the base of the statue, which houses a museum, but access to the statue itself will remain off limits.

Prior to the attacks, visitors could climb to the monument's crown.

The Interior Department said visitors will be allowed to gaze up into the statue's internal structure through a glass ceiling if accompanied by a park ranger.

The partial reopening was first revealed in March by park officials who testified at a hearing on Capitol Hill.

The officials declined to give specifics, saying they did not want to usurp Norton's authority.

But under questioning from lawmakers, National Park Service Deputy Director Don Murphy said a $7 million contribution from the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation had helped security, health and safety enhancements at the site.

The site's grounds were closed after the attacks but have since reopened.

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