NEW YORK—Capping a lengthy project to restore the iconic monument to its original form, New York City park officials announced Thursday that they have finally finished replacing the long-dead light bulbs in the Statue of Liberty’s eyes. “From its unveiling in 1889 until Hurricane Sandy damaged the statue in 2012, visitors to Liberty Island bathed in the radiance of the blinding beams shooting from Lady Liberty’s eyes, a symbol of freedom’s undying and inescapable vigilance,” said National Park Service Director Michael P. Reynolds, who confirmed that the 2.7-million-lumen flood lights now screwed into each of the statue’s colossal eye sockets will once again cast their brilliant white glare across New York Bay, just as they did while guiding immigrants to Ellis Island. “Today, I’m happy to say that Liberty’s eyes are again piercing the night, not with [Frédéric Auguste] Bartholdi’s system of gaslights and mirrors, but with energy-efficient LEDs that more accurately express contemporary American values.” Reynolds noted, however, that the complex process of overhauling the steam turbines that drive the statue’s spinning crown would not be completed in the foreseeable future.
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