Statue of Liberty’s original torch relocated to new home

LIBERTY ISLAND — After sitting inside the Statue of Liberty for the last 30 years, the iconic torch that guided 12 million immigrants to a life of freedom now has a permanent home.

Only about 20 percent of Liberty Island visitors have seen the original Statue of Liberty torch since 1984, but as it moves out of the cramped space of the statue’s pedestal and into the Statue of Liberty Museum, it is bound to gain new admirers.

“It will definitely be in a place where people can see it, appreciate it, understand the story, not only of the torch, but of the statue of liberty and its meaning, not only to Americans, but to people all over the world,” Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island Superintendent John Piltzecker said.

Officials will light the torch so people on the mainland can see its glow.

“You’ll be able to see it from New York City and this will definitely be the key point of the museum,” President Doug Phelps of Phelps Construction said.

The Statue of Liberty Museum is years in the making with 90 percent of brick and mortar construction completed.

“We should be wrapping it up towards the end of this year, with weather permitting,” Phelps said.

A scale model of the statue’s foot and face on display in the museum’s gallery allows future visitors to interact with the structure of the statue.

The new Statue of Liberty Museum is set to open to the public by May 15, 2019.