Statue of Liberty, United States of America, New York.
The Statue of Liberty monument has been a symbol of freedom since it was gifted to the United States of America by the French in 1886. The statue was designed and built by Frenchmen Bartholdi and Gustave Eiffel. It is located on Liberty Island, in the New York harbour. As a commemoration of the American Declaration of Independence, the sculpted woman holds a tablet inscribed with the date of America’s independence – July 4th, 1776.
Statue of Liberty Details
The sculptor is 305 feet (93 metres) tall, and is an amalgam of copper, cast iron and stainless steel. It weighs 450,000 pounds, and it can be accessed via 354 steps. The official name of the statue is La liberte eclairant le monde, which is French for ‘Liberty Enlightening the World’. It is a neoclassical sculpture, as this neoclassical art was all the rage in England and France at the time. The figure represents Libertas, who is the Roman goddess of freedom. Apart from the tablet, she also bears a torch. She also wears a crown, which has 25 windows. The seven spikes on the crown mirror the seven oceans and continents, which is a tribute to the universal concept of freedom. Lady Liberty stands on broken shackles and chains, with her right foot in the air, to represent taking a step forward.
The building of the sculptor began in 1876. It was built in France, disassembled, shipped to the US, then reassembled there. The torch-bearing arm was built first, followed by the head of the Lady. Funds were hard to come by at the time because of the 1873 financial crisis, but a fundraising drive led by Joseph Pulitzer managed to raise a significant number of donations. The cost of the project amounted to 2.25 million francs, which is around 250,000 US dollars (over ten million dollars today). When it was first erected, the statue was the iron structure ever built.
- The man who designed the statue also designed the Eiffel Tower.
- Around 4 million people visit the monument each year.
- Lady Liberty was seen as the symbol of immigrants in the late 19th
- David Copperfield performed an illusionary trick which made the statue disappear in 1983.
- Before being officially launched in the US, the head of the statue was put on display in Paris’s World Fair in 1878.
- 600 bolts of lightning hit the statue every year.
- The island which hosts the statue was called Bedloe Island, but was redubbed Liberty Island in 1956 in the Lady’s honour.
- There are over a hundred replicas of the statue, including one in Las Vegas strip in Nevada and a smaller version in Paris.
- The statue turned 130 years old this October 2016.
- The sculptor comprises three parts: the foundation, the pedestal and the statue itself.
- The face of the Lady is modelled on the designer’s mother, Charlotte Bartholdi.
- The Lady has been featured in movies like Planet of the Apes and Independence Day.
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