City Breaks Ground on New Statue of Liberty Museum

The city broke ground on the new Statue of Liberty Museum.

Officials and designers gathered on Ellis Island to unveil new plans for the project.

The current museum located inside the monument is only accessible to 20 percent of the island's visitors because of safety protocols put in place after the September 11 terror attacks.

The new 26,000-square-foot facility will be able to hold all visitors.

It will also have three gallery spaces where visitors can get up-close looks at the statue's original torch and view a multimedia presentation about the statue's history.

"Because most people can't get into the real statue, we've had to bring as much of the real statue out as we could possibly do," said Stephen Briganti, President and CEO of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation.

"Many can't get in to see the displays and therefore don't learn as much as they'd like to and should know about this great, great spot," said Emily Rafferty, chairwoman of NYC and Company. "This new museum will go a long way to correcting that."

The museum is expected to open in 2019.

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