The Statue of Liberty will close for a year for renovations to make its interior safer and more accessible, said officials.

Statue of Liberty to close for a year for renovations

Statue of Liberty to close for a year for renovations

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said that the iconic structure needed a $27.25 million renovation for additional safety improvements that he promised in 2009, reports the New York Times.

The statue is due to shut down on 29 October, one day after a ceremony to mark 125 years since its dedication. Liberty Island, however, will remain open while repairs are made to the statue.  Officials said that the work is expected to take about a year.

The renovations will include updating the statue's mechanical and electrical systems, adding new fire suppression equipment, replacing elevators and enclosing one of the staircases for safety.

"It's safe now, but it will be so much safer when we're done," said David Luchsinger, superintendent of the monument and of Ellis Island for the National Park Service.

Visitors would not notice anything different as most of them do not climb the statue and will get  "exactly the same experience" while it is closed, added Luchsinger.

However fans of the monument were "disappointed" at the closure because getting inside the building was one of their main reasons for visiting, they said.

Salazar called the renovations "a major step in bringing the 19th century icon into the 21st century," added the New York Times report.

"It's disappointing," Vince Swift, president of the Statue of Liberty Club, told the New York Times. "But if it has to be any length of time, I'm glad it's only a year."

The Statue of Liberty is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the U.S.  After the 9/11 attacks, visitors were barred from venturing inside the statue for three years. In 2004 the base, the pedestal and the observation deck were reopened after safety and security upgrades. Five years later, in 2009, the crown was also reopened.