Maker of Statue of Liberty Figurines Feels Impact of Government Shutdown

by George Bodarky
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Statue of Liberty replicas

George Bodarky, WFUV

Queens factory says it's losing sales while Lady Liberty is shut down.

Colbar Art in Long Island City, Queens produces replicas of a long list of New York landmarks, like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. But, it's best known for being one of the largest producers of Statue of Liberty figurines in the world, and perhaps the only one still making them in the United States.

The souvenirs are made by hand, and owner Ovidiu Colea, a Romanian immigrant, says he wouldn't have it any other way.

"The Statue of Liberty is a product that's very close to my heart.  It's part of my being in USA, part of the freedom which I dream [of] all my life."

Colea says his figurines are in souvenir shops across New York City, including on Liberty and Ellis Islands.  He says the government shutdown is putting a damper on his business.

"People coming from overseas, coming from other states, almost all of them they go to see the Statue of Liberty.  Now [with] the Statue of Liberty being closed, if they don't go, they don't sell."

Colea says he saw a similar drop in business when Superstorm Sandy shut down Lady Liberty.

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