statue of libertyFor the first time since the US government shut down two weeks ago, the Statue of Liberty was reopened to tourists, financed now by the State of New York.

Visitors once again lined up in Battery Park, eager to resume one of the city’s most popular tourist rituals.

Emblem of the American dream

Liberty Island reopened until October 17 under a deal between the New York State and National Park Service.

Under the agreement negotiated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York State agreed to provide $61,600 a day to the National Park Service to pay its workers operating the Statue of Liberty while the government remains shut down.

American and foreign visitors excitedly started taking pictures and streaming on and off boats taking them to the emblem of the American dream.

Many visitors in the park, however, had little interest in the cause of the shutdown  the battle between President Obama and House Republicans over the country’s budget debt.

Back to normal

Statue Cruises had been forced to offer pre-booked tourists an alternative boat tour round New York harbor, not always money back, but now things are getting back to normal.

While tourists who booked a few months ago were turned away by the shutdown, many had booked online on Sunday.