A new $70 million museum at the Statue of Liberty will feature the original torch overlooking the Manhattan skyline, officials revealed Thursday.
The new museum on Liberty Island is intended to accommodate 4.3 million annual visitors when it opens in 2019. Few have been able to see the existing museum, due to high security since Sept. 11, 2001.
It will include an interactive Inspiration Gallery, which encourages visitors to answer “What Does Liberty Mean to You?” Their answer, selfie and signature will be displayed on an ever-changing mosaic.
The original Statue of Liberty Torch will be the final exhibit, encased in glass walls to showcase it with a view of Lady Liberty and the skyline.
Mayor de Blasio said the new museum will help us “as a city, as a nation, to find our true selves. That’s what will ultimately make us strong and will help us prevail.”
Diane von Furstenberg, who led the fundraising campaign for the museum, sold 50 star sculptures to donors.
The stars will be displayed on a large mural built with hand-forged iron bars created by Gustave Eiffel (before he built the Eiffel tower), which supported the Statue of Liberty for 100 years until they were removed and preserved in 1986.