Statue of Liberty to reopen Sunday

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The Statue of Liberty is set to reopen to the public on Sunday, the landmark's 126th anniversary.

The statue has been closed for a year for renovations to its interior, although the public has been allowed to visit its Liberty Island grounds in New York Harbor.

The $30 million renovation included replacing the stairs to the crown and making them less steep. There are now 393 steps, instead of 354.

For the first time, visitors using wheelchairs will be able to visit one of the observation decks at the top of the pedestal. National Park Service spokeswoman Mindi Rambo said the viewing area is as high as is possible for wheelchair access while preserving the historic structure.

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The statue, a gift from France, was dedicated on Oct. 28, 1886. It was conceived to symbolize the friendship between the two countries and their shared love of liberty.

About 3.5 million people visit the statue every year. A park service official said the renovations will allow 26,000 more visitors inside the monument annually.

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