$100 million Statue of Liberty Museum needs completion funds

In the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, construction crews are building the future Statue of Liberty Museum.

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation has raised almost all of the $100 million needed for the project from private donations and is trying to raise more money to finish. The plan is to open the museum on Liberty Island in May 2019.

Suzanne Mannion, the foundation's director of public affairs, said the museum's artifacts and films will give many more people the chance to learn about the statue's history and significance.

A gift from France, Lady Liberty has watched over New York Harbor since 1886. The statue is a symbol designed to welcome immigrants to this country.

The building of a new museum comes as the debate about immigration has been dividing many Americans and prompting protests around the country. Exhibits at the new museum will celebrate the Statue of Liberty's history, influence, and legacy in the world.

Rich Flood, the foundation's director of marketing and fundraising, said the museum will feature three gallery spaces, including an immersive theater that will take visitors through a virtual tour of the interior of the statue.