Statue of Liberty goes dark in 'unplanned outage' as Women's March campaigners claim show of solidarity

National Parks Service puts icon's loss of light down to work on new generator - but activists quip blackout is Lady Liberty 'standing with resistance' to Trump

Matt Broomfield
Wednesday 08 March 2017 10:43 GMT
Lights go out on Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty has suffered a "temporary, unplanned outage", losing all lights apart from her crown and torch.

Women's March activists behind today's A Day Without A Woman Protest were quick to claim the black-out as "Lady Liberty... standing with the resistance."

But the National Parks Service has said the outage was simply due to construction work on a new emergency backup generator.

According to the New York Post, the lights shut off around 10pm Eastern Standard Time, and weren't restored until roughly 11.30pm.

New York Harbour was left in darkness as light from the 46-metre edifice formally known as Liberty Enlightening the World blinked out.

The statue is seen by many Americans as a symbol of liberty and the American dream. She holds a torch in her left hand and a tablet representing the law in her right, while a broken chain coils around her feet.

A sonnet including the famous lines "Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" is inscribed at her base.

Women's March campaigners therefore claimed "Lady Liberty" as an anti-Trump protester, thanking her for "standing with the resistance" in a tongue-in-cheek post on Twitter.

In a statement, National Parks Service public affairs officer Jerry Willis said: "A portion of the lighting system that illuminates the Statue of Liberty experienced a temporary, unplanned outage tonight.

"The outage was most likely due to work related to an ongoing project to activate a new emergency backup generator that is part of our last remaining Hurricane Sandy recovery projects.

"We will be able to confirm the cause when crews return to the island Wednesday morning."

The hurricane caused $33 billion of damage across New York State in 2012.

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