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Pressure to reopen Statue of Liberty crown

July 5, 2007 at 2:01 PM

NEW YORK, July 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Congress wants to know why the Statue of Liberty's crown remains closed nearly six years after the World Trade Center attacks.

Hearings are to be held, possibly in New York, to question the National Park Service's stubborn refusal to reopen the crown and observation deck, said Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y.

"We should not have any more July 4 celebrations with Lady Liberty's crown being closed," Weiner said.

Liberty's pedestal has been open to visitors since 2004, while the crown, with its breath-taking views, remains the country's only Park Service site still off-limits to the public, The New York Daily News reported Thursday.

Visitors to the site have dropped about 40 percent since the closure, from 5.5 million in 2000 to 3.26 million last year, Weiner said.

Park Service officials have said security concerns and the safety of visitors climbing a narrow stairway have kept them from reopening the site.

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