YORK (AFP) - The Statue of Liberty, the iconic symbol of freedom, New York City and of US immigration, on Friday celebrates its 125th birthday, then closes for a years repairs. The event will be marked by a ceremony echoing the original October 28, 1886 inauguration of the monument in front of then-president Grover Cleveland. The Statue of Liberty, created by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, was presented to the United States as a sign of friendship from the people of France. It came to symbolize freedom especially for immigrants, 12 million of whom passed through nearby Ellis Island as they entered the United States. Fridays ceremony will see 125 modern day immigrants from more than 40 countries become citizens at the feet of Lady Liberty on Liberty Island, in the heart of New York Harbor.