[Dimitris Manis]: Some of the largest national parks in the USA have reopened their doors to the public after being forced to shut down about two weeks ago due to the shutdown of the American government. Some states decided it’s better to fund the operation of certain parks and monuments themselves rather than having them remain closed. The Statue of Liberty in New York reopened its doors to the public on Sunday, October 13th, 12 days after the government shutdown. Tourists in the American metropolis, who were afraid they wouldn’t be able to visit the famous monument, are very happy with the news. The Statue of Liberty is one of the 400 national monuments and parks that were closed on October 1st. This is the result of the dispute over federal spending that led to the government shutdown, including the National Park Service. New York authorities reported that the shutdown had caused tremendous damage to the state’s economy, mainly from the loss of tourism revenue. For this reason, they agreed to pay the $370,000 required for the operation of the Statue of Liberty for one week on their own. Three other states made similar decisions. Officials in Arizona decided to pay $93,000 daily to reopen the Grand Canyon. The state governor, Jan Brewer, stated that this initiative was worth the effort. [Jan Brewer]: The park’s operation brings in huge income to our economy, our state, and our taxpayers. [Dimitris Manis]: Almost two-thirds of the funds required for the reopening of the Grand Canyon were provided by the neighboring town of Tusayan. The town’s mayor, Greg Bryan, stated that the park’s closure had caused tremendous problems to the local community. [Greg Bryan]: We estimate that more than one million dollars were lost in just the first week, from the revenues coming into the community from the park’s operation. Imagine for the 11 days we were closed how many millions were lost. [Dimitris Manis]: The city of South Dakota paid $152,000 to reopen the National Monument at Mount Rushmore. This monument, where the faces of four presidents of the United States are carved into rocks, is visited by nearly 3 million tourists every year. Meanwhile, the National State spent 1.6 million dollars to open 8 national parks located within its territory for the next 10 days. Dimitris Manis, VOA, Washington