The Statue of Liberty and nearby Ellis Island, which sustained extensive damage during Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29, will not reopen before 2013, the National Park Service, the agency responsible for managing both areas, said.

"Due to conditions created by Hurricane Sandy, Statue of Liberty National Monument is currently closed. Although a projected reopening date has not yet been established, data from initial reports has determined it will not occur in 2012," the federal agency said in a statement posted on its Web site.

The two islands, located in New York Harbor between New York and New Jersey, were pounded by the strong winds and flooding from Sandy.

The Statue of Liberty's crown had been reopened to visitors the day before Sandy hit the New York metro area after undergoing extensive renovations for more than a year.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar took part in the ceremony at which the statue's crown reopened on Oct. 28.

The superstorm washed away hundreds of bricks from the area around the statue's pedestal.

The Statue of Liberty, which was dedicated on Oct. 28, 1886, and designated a national monument in 1924, welcomes about 3.5 million visitors annually. EFE