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Liberty's Torch A Party Light?

The party's back on for Talk magazine.

The city torpedoed plans to hold the magazine's coming-out gala at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, in part because the first issue's cover might feature first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, a potential rival for Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in next year's Senate race.

Now the event has been moved to Liberty Island, federal property that is home of the Statue of Liberty.

Â"We're thrilled to have the Statue of Liberty,Â" said Tina Brown, editor of the magazine owned by Miramax Films and Hearst Magazines.

Officials for the National Park Service said a permit for the Aug. 2 party would be issued in about five days.

Â"There are a couple of things that need to be finalized, like timing and assurance that the event won't impact the regular visitor experience,Â" said Michael Conklin, events coordinator for Liberty Island.

The 800-person guest list will include Giuliani, a Miramax spokeswoman said. The mayor has not said whether he will attend.

The original party plans were denied primarily because the Brooklyn Navy Yard is unsuitable for such an event, Deputy Mayor Randy Levine said last month.

But he admitted that Mrs. Clinton's involvement also played a part. Â"There was the possibility that this thing would turn into a circus,Â" he said.

Miramax has said no decision had been made about who would be on Talk's inaugural cover.

This was not the first time the Giuliani administration has tussled with a magazine. In 1997, the city yanked ads from city buses that said New York magazine was Â"Possibly the only good thing in New York Rudy hasn't taken credit for.Â"

City lawyers cited a state law preventing people from having their names or faces in ads without their permission. The magazine sued, saying its free speech rights were violated. Courts sided with the magazine.

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