NEW YORK (AP) _ Workers removed the first of seven giant spikes from the Statue of Liberty's crown Thursday, part of a program to refinish and strengthen the spikes during restoration of the statue.

The crown's northern-most spike was carried to an elevator attached to the scaffolding that surrounds the statue and lowered to the ground.

Each of the spikes - which represent the seven seas and the seven continents - is about 9 feet long and 150 pounds.

The spike closest to the statue's upraised arm will be shortened by about a foot, because it scrapes against the arm's copper skin and has worn a hole there.

On July 4 workers removed and lowered the statue's rusty torch, which is to be replaced with a new one. The entire restoration program is scheduled to be finished by Oct. 28, 1986, the 100th anniversary of the statue's dedication.

Restoration work is being financed by a national effort to raise $230 million. Some of the money will be used to restore the immigration station on neighboring Ellis Island.