Since making her American debut in 1886, the Statue of Liberty has become one of the world’s most famous attractions. Now in addition to this, the Statue of Liberty Museum has opened to the public. Some five years in the making, the new museum provides a multisensory experience for the millions of people who visit every year during trips to New York. About 4.3 million people visited the Statue of Liberty in 2018.
Guests arriving at the new museum begin by walking through a three-part video chronicling the history of the Statue’s creation before spilling out into a larger open space. The video shows details about how French workers constructed their 150-foot-tall gift to America, as well as how the statue became a symbol of freedom across the world.
The museum doesn’t shy away from the fact that this symbol of “universal liberty” was far from a reality for people of color and women during the late 19th century and for decades afterward. This skepticism toward the statue, which continued into the modern era, was notably missing from the previous experience of visiting the landmark. While the museum is intended to celebrate the concept of liberty, it also pokes holes in it.
Of the millions of people traveling to see the Statue of Liberty each year, many are visiting the United States from other countries. As a result, the museum offers audio tours in 12 different languages. It also infuses its imagery with historical social justice movements throughout the world. The documentary at the beginning of the museum positions photographs of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela with throngs of supporters beside photographs depicting Women’s Marches in the United States. The makers believe that since half of the people who come are not Americans, the museum is telling the American story for the world. Zeba Warsia – NMTV News.