Liberty Enlightening the World
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The name of this statue of La liberté éclairant le monde, which is French for Liberty Enlightening the World. It was a gift to the people of American from people in France, presented in 1886. The base, however, was made by America.
The statue is located on Liberty Island (formerly known as Bedloe’s Island), in Upper New York Bay. Lady Liberty was often the ﬁrst thing immigrants would see when sailing into their new country.
The statue is made out of copper, the metal that covers our pennies. It looks bluish-green, however, because of a chemical reaction called patination. The ﬂame of the torch is coated in gold.
The statue is 46 metres tall, but with the pedestal and foundation, it is 93 metres tall.
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi sculpted the statue, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel engineered the internal structure, and Eugène Viollet-le-Duc was responsible for the choice of copper in the statue’s construction and adoption of the repoussé technique.
The classical appearance (Roman stola, sandals, facial expression) derives from Libertas, ancient Rome’s goddess of freedom from slavery, oppression, and tyranny. Her raised right foot is on the move. This symbol of Liberty and Freedom is not standing still or at attention in the harbour, she is moving forward, as her left foot tramples broken shackles at her feet, in symbolism of the Americans’ wish to be free from oppression and tyranny. The seven spikes on the crown represent the seven seas and seven continents. Her torch signiﬁes enlightenment. The tablet in her hand represents knowledge and shows the date of the Declaration of Independence: July 4, 1776.
In 1883, Emma Lazarus wrote a poem about the statue titled “The New Colossus.” In 1903, a plaque bearing the text of the poem was mounted on the inner wall of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
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