New York: The Statue of Liberty was on Wednesday shut down as a woman climbed its base shortly after a three-hour standoff that led to the evacuation of the landmark on America's Independence Day. The stone pedestal of the Statue of Liberty is the iconic tribute to freedom and democracy that graces New York Harbor.
It is, however, not confirmed yet whether the woman belonged to the group of people who were carrying out the protest unfurling a banner that read 'Abolish ICE' from the base of the statue in a protest against the US.
The protest was staged by a group called Rise and Resist who later released a statement on Twitter that said the protest did not include the climber. Seven protestors were arrested earlier on Wednesday following the agitation.
ICE refers to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, whose recent treatment of families who have crossed illegally into the United States has become a source of discord.
The woman was soon escorted down by police who grabbed her as she clung to the sloping side of the more than 300-foot-high (91 meters) statue near its upturned right foot.
She had removed her shoes and attempted unsuccessfully to scale Lady Liberty's green-tarnished robes as the waters of the Hudson River swirled below.
"She's been taken into custody amicably, peacefully, without any injuries, or injuries to our officers, thank God. It’s all over now." Sergeant David Somma, a spokesman for the National Park Service, told Reuters after the standoff ended. He said prosecutors would determine any charges filed against the woman.
The incident forced the Park Service to evacuate Liberty Island on a sweltering holiday afternoon when typically thousands of tourists visit the historic statue, a symbol of American freedom that has stood in the harbor since 1886.
(With inputs from Reuters)