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Iconic Lady Liberty Closed by US Government Shutdown

Iconic Lady Liberty Closed by US Government Shutdowni
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October 01, 2013 9:47 PM
One of America’s iconic attractions, The Statue of Liberty, was seen but not touched on Tuesday after a U.S. government shutdown forced the closure of some of the nation's great tourist attractions. VOA’S Bernard Shusman reports from New York harbor.
Bernard Shusman
— One of America’s iconic attractions, The Statue of Liberty, was seen but not touched on Tuesday after a U.S. government shutdown forced the closure of some of the nation's great tourist attractions.

Tourists who gathered at the southern tip of Manhattan expected to board a boat on Tuesday and climb the Statue of Liberty. But Lady Liberty, with her lamp of freedom held high, was closed because the U.S. government had shut down.

They could still see it, but only from the boat that normally disgorges tourists at New York's iconic spots: Liberty Island and Ellis Island nearby.  In better times, millions visit these sights every year.

Will Koehn from Missouri seemed surprised that he couldn't get there.  
 
“We came here today to see the Statue of Liberty, came to the ticket booth and weren’t able to go on to the Island and am disappointed somewhat," said Koehn.

To some foreign tourists, the government shutdown was more than a disappointment.

“I think the image may be tarnished a bit, because as a tourist, as a foreigner coming to the United States to see this country and to experience the American culture, the American lifestyle, and I didn’t get that and I kind of expected that and having paid for that having known that America is a developed country, not a developing country," said Payal Patel from Great Britain.

“It’s really hard to believe that a Congress can hold its people to ransom and I kind of have the impression that they want to antagonize the people of America and make them angry," said Tina Marie from Australia. "A whole lot of people aren’t being paid today.  What’s that all about?"   

Nevertheless, tourists tried to get as close as they could, on the day America put a lock on its landmarks.

Production assistance - Daniela Schrier.

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