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The Statue of Liberty ( ), officially titled Liberty Enlightening the World ( ), dedicated on October 28, 1886, is a monument commemorating the centennial of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, given to the United States by the people of Francemarker to represent the friendship between the two countries established during the American Revolution. It represents a woman wearing a stola, a radiant crown and sandals, trampling a broken chain, carrying a torch in her raised right hand and a tabula ansata tablet, where the date of the Declaration of Independence is inscribed, in her left arm. Standing on Liberty Islandmarker in New York Harbor, it welcomes visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans traveling by ship. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi sculpted the statue and obtained a U.S. patent for its structure. Maurice Koechlin—chief engineer of Gustave Eiffel's engineering company and designer of the Eiffel Towermarker—engineered the internal structure. The pedestal was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt. Eugène Viollet-le-Duc was responsible for the choice of copper in the statue's construction, and for the adoption of the repoussé technique, where a malleable metal is hammered on the reverse side.

The statue is made of a sheathing of pure copper, hung on a framework of steel (originally puddled iron) with the exception of the flame of the torch, which is coated in gold leaf (originally made of copper and later altered to hold glass panes). It stands atop a rectangular stonework pedestal with a foundation in the shape of an irregular eleven-pointed star. The statue is tall, but with the pedestal and foundation, it is tall.

Worldwide, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable icons of the United States. and was, from 1886 until the Jet Age, often one of the first glimpses of the United States for millions of immigrants after ocean voyages from Europe.

The statue is the central part of Statue of Liberty National Monument, administered by the National Park Service. The National Monument also includes Ellis Islandmarker.


Discussions in France over a suitable gift to the United States to mark the Centennial of the American Declaration of Independence were headed by the politician and sympathetic writer of the history of the United States, Édouard René de Laboulaye. French sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi was commissioned to design a sculpture with the year 1876 in mind for completion. The idea for the commemorative gift then grew out of the political turmoil which was shaking France at the time. The French Third Republic was still considered as a temporary arrangement by many, who wished a return to monarchism, or to some form of constitutional authoritarianism such as they had known under Napoleon. The idea of giving a colossal representation of republican virtues to a sister republic across the sea served as a focus for the republican cause against other politicians.
The first small terracotta model was created in 1870. It is now exhibited at the Musée des beaux-arts de Lyonmarker. The first bronze model, on a small scale, was built in the same year . This first statue is now in the Jardin du Luxembourgmarker in Paris .

While on a visit to Egyptmarker that was to shift his artistic perspective from simply grand to colossal, Bartholdi was inspired by the project of the Suez Canalmarker which was being undertaken by Count Ferdinand de Lesseps, who later became a lifelong friend of his. He envisioned a giant lighthouse standing at the entrance to the canal and drew plans for it. It would be patterned after the Roman goddess Libertas, modified to resemble a robed Egyptian peasant, with light beaming out from both a headband and a torch thrust dramatically upward into the skies. Bartholdi presented his plans to the Egyptian Khedive, Isma'il Pasha, in 1867 and, with revisions, again in 1869, but the project was never commissioned because of financial issues that the Ottoman Empire was going through.

It was agreed that in a joint effort, the people of the United States were to build the base, and the French people were responsible for the statue and its assembly in the States. In France, public donations, various forms of entertainment including notably performances of La liberté éclairant le monde (Liberty enlightening the world) by soon-to-be famous composer Charles Gounod at Paris Operamarker, and a charitable lottery were among the methods used to raise the 2,250,000 francs ($250,000). In the United States, benefit theatrical events, art exhibitions, auctions and prize fights assisted in providing needed funds.

Meanwhile in France, Bartholdi required the assistance of an engineer to address structural issues associated with designing such a colossal copper sculpture. Gustave Eiffel (designer of the Eiffel Towermarker) was commissioned to design the massive iron pylon and secondary skeletal framework which allows the statue's copper skin to move independently yet stand upright. Eiffel delegated the detailed work to his trusted structural engineer, Maurice Koechlin.

Bartholdi had initially planned to have the statue completed and presented to the United States on July 4, 1876, but a late start and subsequent delays prevented it. However, by that time the right arm and torch were completed. This part of the statue was displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphiamarker, where visitors were charged 50 cents to climb the ladder to the balcony. The money raised this way was used to start funding the pedestal.

On June 30, 1878, at the Paris Exposition, the completed head of the statue was showcased in the garden of the Trocadéro Palacemarker, while other pieces were on display in the Champs de Marsmarker.

Back in the United States, the site, authorized in New York Harbor by an Act of Congress, 1877, was selected by General William Tecumseh Sherman, who settled on Bartholdi's own choice, then known as Bedloe's Island (named after Isaac Bedloe), where there was already an early 19th century star-shaped fortification named Fort Woodmarker. United States Minister to France Levi P. Morton hammered the first nail in the construction of the statue.

On February 18, 1879, Bartholdi was granted a design patent, , on "a statue representing Liberty enlightening the world, the same consisting, essentially, of the draped female figure, with one arm upraised, bearing a torch, and while the other holds an inscribed tablet, and having upon the head a diadem, substantially as set forth." The patent described the head as having "classical, yet severe and calm, features," noted that the body is "thrown slightly over to the left so as to gravitate upon the left leg, the whole figure thus being in equilibrium," and covered representations in "any manner known to the glyptic art in the form of a statue or statuette, or in alto-relievo or bass-relief, in metal, stone, terra-cotta, plaster-of-Paris, or other plastic composition."

The financing for the statue was completed in France in July 1882. Fund-raising for the pedestal, led by William M. Evarts, proceeded slowly, so publisher Joseph Pulitzer (who established the Pulitzer Prize) opened up the editorial pages of his newspaper, The World, to support the fund raising effort in 1883. Pulitzer used his newspaper to criticize both the rich, who had failed to finance the pedestal construction, and the middle class who were content to rely upon the wealthy to provide the funds. His campaign was an important contribution to the effort, but ultimately Senator Evarts and the American Committee he headed raised the majority of funds for the pedestal.

The construction of the statue was completed in France in July 1884. The cornerstone of the pedestal, designed by American architect Richard Morris Hunt, was laid on August 5, 1884, but the construction had to be stopped by lack of funds in January 1885. It was resumed on May 11, 1885 after a renewed fund campaign by Joseph Pulitzer in March 1885. Thirty-eight of the forty-six courses of masonry were yet to be built.

The statue arrived in New York Harbor on June 17, 1885 on board the French frigate Isère. To prepare for transit, the Statue was reduced to 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates. (The right arm and the torch, which were completed earlier, had been exhibited at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, and thereafter at Madison Squaremarker in New York City.) Joseph Henderson was expressly selected to escort the French Steamer into the New York Harbor to Bedloe's Island. This event and Pilot Henderson's appearance was printed in the New York Times: "Old Pilot Henderson, who jumped from the skylight down on the quarter deck of the Isère."

Financing for the pedestal was completed on August 11, 1885 and construction was finished on April 22, 1886. When the last stone of the pedestal was swung into place the masons reached into their pockets and showered into the mortar a collection of silver coins.

Built into the pedestal's massive masonry are two sets of four iron girders, connected by iron tie beams that are carried up to become part of Eiffel's framework for the statue itself. Thus, Liberty is integral with her pedestal.
Used as a lighthouse, the original torch fatally disoriented birds

The statue, which was stored for eleven months in crates waiting for its pedestal to be finished, was then reassembled in four months. On October 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty was unveiled by President Grover Cleveland in front of thousands of spectators. (Cleveland, as Governor of the State of New York, had earlier vetoed a bill by the New York legislature to contribute $50,000 to building of the pedestal.)

Nearly 10 years after the Statue of Liberty was assembled, the United States donated $10,000,000 USD (adjusted for inflation) to various charities in France.

The Statue of Liberty functioned as a lighthouse from 1886 to 1902. At that time the U.S. Lighthouse Board was responsible for its operation. There was a lighthouse keeper and the electric light could be seen for 24 miles (39 km) at sea. As a lighthouse, it is the first in the United States to use electricity; there was also an electric plant on the island to generate power for the light.

Wilbur Wright was the first person to fly an airplane around the statue, at waist level, a feat he performed on September 29, 1909 during the Hudson-Fulton Celebration.

In 1913 a group of young pilots were graduated from the Moisant School of Aviation based on Long Islandmarker. One of the graduates, the Mexican pilot Juan Pablo Aldasoro was selected to perform the first flight above the statue. All of the graduates later on became members of the Early Birds of Aviation.

In 1916, floodlights were placed around the base of the statue. Also in 1916, the Black Tom explosionmarker caused $100,000 worth of damage ($1.98 million in 2008 dollars) to the statue, embedding fragmentation and eventually leading to the closing of the torch to visitors. The same year, Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of Mount Rushmoremarker, modified the original copper torch by cutting away most of the copper in the flame, retrofitting glass panes and installing an internal light. After these modifications, the torch severely leaked from rainwater and snow melts, accelerating corrosion inside the statue. President Franklin D. Roosevelt rededicated the Statue of Liberty on its Fiftieth anniversary (October 28, 1936).

In 1956, through an Act of Congress, Bedloe's Island was renamed Liberty Island officially, although Liberty Island had been used informally since the turn of the century.

As with all historic areas administered by the National Park Service, Statue of Liberty National Monument, along with Ellis Island and Liberty Island, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.

In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon dedicated the American Museum of Immigration, housed in structural additions to the base of the pedestal on top of what was Fort Wood.

In 1984, the Statue of Liberty was added to the list of World Heritage Sites.

In 2007, the Statue of Liberty was one of 20 finalists in a competition to name the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Inspiration for the face

Unsubstantiated sources cite different models for the face of the statue. One indicated the then-recently widowed Isabella Eugenie Boyer, the wife of Isaac Singer, the sewing-machine industrialist. "She was rid of the uncouth presence of her husband, who had left her with only his most socially desirable attributes: his fortune and -- his children. She was, from the beginning of her career in Paris, a well-known figure. As the good-looking French widow of an American industrialist she was called upon to be Bartholdi's model for the Statue of Liberty." Another source believed that the "stern face" belonged to Bartholdi's mother, Charlotte Bartholdi (1801–1891), with whom he was very close. National Geographic magazine also pointed to his mother, noting that Bartholdi never denied nor explained the resemblance.


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 harbor, it is moving forward, as her left foot tramples broken shackles at her feet, in symbolism of the United States' wish to be free from oppression and tyranny. Since the 1940s, it has been claimed that the seven spikes or diadem atop of the crown epitomize the Seven Seas and seven continents. Her torch signifies enlightenment. The Keystone in her hand represents knowledge and shows the date of the United States Declaration of Independence, in roman numerals, July IV, MDCCLXXVI.

The general appearance of the statue’s head approximates the Greek Sun-god Apollo or the Roman Sun-god Helios as preserved on an ancient marble tablet (today in the Archaeological Museum of Corinth, Corinthmarker, Greece)—Apollo was represented as a solar deity, dressed in a similar robe and having on its head a "radiate crown" with the seven spiked rays of the Helios-Apollo's sun rays, like the Statue's nimbus or halo. The ancient Colossus of Rhodesmarker, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was a statue of Helios with a radiate crown. The Colossus is referred to in the 1883 sonnet The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus. Lazarus's poem was later engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the Statue of Liberty in 1903.

To different observers, the statue has reminded of the values that the United States seemingly does or should possess. For example, documentarian Ken Burns recounts how the statue became a symbol of "America's open-door policy." In his book, Man's Search for Meaning, the existential therapist Viktor Frankl recommended "that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast should be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast."

Iconographic precedents

As mentioned above, the colossus of Rhodes could havebeen one source of inspiration for the radiant crown.

In the modern era, radiant-crown-wearing allegoricalstatues were scuplted by Italian artists, notably Canova's'allegory of Faith on the tomb of pope Clement XIII, andCamillo Pacetti's allegory of New Testament above the entrance ofMilan Cathedralmarker.

They became increasingly common in the second half of the 19th century in France andÉlias Robert's France crowning Art and Industrymarker (1855), among others, could have providedinspiration for the Statue of Liberty.The Great Seal of the French Second Republic (1848-1852) displays an allegory ofLiberty represented sitting and wearinga seven ray radiant crown.
Earlier modern versions of statues of Liberty include the one erected atop a temple of Concordia in Lyonmarker for the Federation festival of May 30, 1790 and the plaster figure wearing a red phrygian cap and carrying a spear in her right hand, replacing Louis XV's equestrial statue on the place de la RĂ©volution - formerly place Louis XV, now place de la Concordemarker - in Paris from August 1793 to 1800 next to the guillotine, inspiring Madame Roland's famous remark: Oh Liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name!.

The decision to depict Liberty wearing a radiant crown rather than the traditional attribute of liberty, the phrygian cap, is a negative one, avoiding what was then perceived as the symbol of radical revolutionary movements. Similarly, Thomas Crawford had to renounce to his project to dress the Capitol's Statue of Freedommarker with a phrygian cap because of the concern that it might be seen as an abolitionist symbol.

The torch was associated with Liberty prior to Bartholdi's statue of Liberty in the right hand of Augustin Dumont's Genius of Liberty on the July Columnmarker, a monument inaugurated in 1840. The idea of bringing light to the world was expressed with a torch by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux in his Imperial France bringing light to the world and protecting Agriculture and Science in 1866., but the idea proposed by Hector Horeau in 1868 to build a colossus of Intelligent France enlightening the world on the Hill of Chaillotmarker was never carried out

Physical characteristics

Except for a period of time between 11 September, 2001, and 4 July 2009, the interior of the statue has been open to visitors. Visitors must purchase crown tickets in advance. Once they arrive by ferry, they must check in at the information center, then go to the base for the start of the walk up the monument. The climb to the top is 146 stairs on the double-helix stair case. Inside the copper statue it is approximately 15 to 20 degrees (F) warmer than it is outside. The NPS allows 10 people at a time with 3 groups an hour up into the crown. This provides a view of New York Harbor (the orientation of the statue faces Brooklyn) through 25 windows, the largest approximately 18" (46 cm) in height. The view does not, therefore, include the skyline of Manhattan, except through the smallest windows on the left side of the crown. The wait outside regularly exceeds three hours, excluding the wait for ferries and ferry tickets.

The grey-green verdigris color is the patina which is caused by a chemical reaction which produces copper salts resulting in the current hue.

The sandstone used in the base is from Locharbriggs Quarry on the edge of Dumfriesmarker in south west Scotlandmarker.

Interior view of the statue upward, when reopened to the public in 1986
The statue as viewed from the ground on Liberty Island
There are 354 steps inside the statue and its pedestal, with 25 windows in the crown which comprise the jewels beneath the seven rays of the diadem. The keystone which the statue holds in her left hand reads, in Roman numerals, "July 4, 1776" the day of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

The Statue of Liberty was engineered to withstand heavy winds. Winds of cause the Statue to sway and the torch to sway . This allows the Statue to move rather than break in high wind load conditions.

                                  ! Customary         !! Metric
Height from base to torch 151 ft 1 in 46 m
Foundation of pedestal (ground) to tip of torch 305 ft 1 in 93 m
Heel to top of head 111 ft 1 in 34 m
Length of hand 16 ft 5 in 5 m
Index finger 8 ft 1 in 2.44 m
Circumference at second joint 3 ft 6 in 1.07 m
Head from chin to cranium 17 ft 3 in 5.26 m
Head thickness from ear to ear 10 ft 0 in 3.05 m
Distance across the eye 2 ft 6 in 0.76 m
Length of nose 4 ft 6 in 1.48 m
Right arm length 42 ft 0 in 12.8 m
Right arm greatest thickness 12 ft 0 in 3.66 m
Thickness of waist 35 ft 0 in 10.67 m
Width of mouth 3 ft 0 in 0.91 m
Tablet, length 23 ft 7 in 7.19 m
Tablet, width 13 ft 7 in 4.14 m
Tablet, thickness 2 ft 0 in 0.61 m
Height of granite pedestal 89 ft 0 in 27.13 m
Height of foundation 65 ft 0 in 19.81 m
Weight of copper used in Statue 60,000 pounds 27.22 metric tonnes
Weight of steel used in Statue 250,000 pounds 113.4 metric tonnes
Total weight used in Statue 450,000 pounds 204.1 metric tonnes
Thickness of copper sheeting 3/32 of an inch 2.4 mm

The statue is built top-heavy in order to create a slight forced perspective and appear more correctly proportioned when viewed from its base. When the statue was designed in the late 1800s (before easy air flight), there were few other angles to view the statue from. This became an issue for special effects technicians working on the movie Ghostbusters II.

Origin of the copper

Historical records make no mention of the source of the copper used in the Statue of Liberty. In the village of Visnes in the municipality of Karmøymarker, Norwaymarker, tradition holds that the copper came from the French-owned Visnes Mine. Ore from this mine, refined in France and Belgium, was a significant source of European copper in the late nineteenth century. In 1985, Bell Labs used emission spectrography to compare samples of copper from the Visnes Mines and from the Statue of Liberty, found the spectrum of impurities to be very similar, and concluded that the evidence argued strongly for a Norwegian origin of the copper. Other sources say that the copper was mined in Yekaterinburgmarker or Nizhny Tagilmarker. The copper sheets were created in the workshops of the Gaget-Gauthier company, and shaped in the Ateliers Mesureur in the west of Paris in 1878. Funding for the copper was provided by Pierre-Eugène Secrétan.

Liberty centennial

The Statue of Liberty was one of the earliest beneficiaries of a cause marketing campaign. A 1983 promotion advertised that for each purchase made with an American Express card, American Express would contribute one penny to the renovation of the statue. The campaign generated contributions of $1.7 million to the Statue of Liberty restoration project. In 1984, the statue was closed so that a $62 million renovation could be performed for the statue's centennial. Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca was appointed by President Reagan to head the commission overseeing the task (but was later dismissed "to avoid any question of conflict" of interest). Workers erected scaffolding around the statue, obscuring it from public view until the rededication on July 3, 1986—the scaffolding-clad statue can be seen in the 1984 film Desperately Seeking Susan, in the 1985 film Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, and in the 1985 film Brewster's Millions. Inside work began with workers using liquid nitrogen to remove seven layers of paint applied to the interior of the copper skin over the decades. That left two layers of coal tar originally applied to plug leaks and prevent corrosion. Blasting with baking soda powder removed the tar without further damaging the copper. Larger holes in the copper skin were repaired with the addition of an inner lip upon which new copper patches were inset, riveted, and hammered flush.

Each of the 1,350 shaped iron ribs backing the skin had to be removed and replaced. The iron had experienced galvanic corrosion wherever it contacted the copper skin, losing up to 50% of its thickness. Bartholdi had anticipated the problem and used an asbestos/pitch combination to separate the metals, but the insulation had worn away decades before. New bars of stainless steel bent into matching shapes replaced the iron bars, with Teflon film separating them from the skin for further insulation and friction reduction.

The internal structure of the upraised right arm was reworked. The statue was erected with the arm offset 18" (0.46 m) to the right and forward of Eiffel's central frame, while the head was offset 24" (0.61 m) to the left, which had been compromising the framework. Theory held that Bartholdi made the modification without Eiffel's involvement after seeing the arm and head were too close. Engineers considered reinforcements made in 1932 insufficient and added diagonal bracing in 1984 and 1986 to make the arm structurally sound.

Besides the replacement of much of the internal iron with stainless steel and the structural reinforcement of the statue itself, the restoration of the mid-1980s also included the replacement of the original torch with a replica, replacing the original iron stairs with new stairs, installing a newer elevator within the pedestal, and upgrading climate control systems. The Statue of Liberty was reopened to the public on July 5, 1986.

New torch

Original torch, replaced in 1986
new torch replaced the original in 1986, which was deemed beyond repair because of the extensive 1916 modifications. The 1886 torch is now in the monument's lobby museum. The new torch has gold plating applied to the exterior of the "flame," which is illuminated by very large spotlights embedded in the ground surrounding the monument.

Dominion resolved by default

In 1987, US Representative Frank J. Guarini, a Democrat from New Jersey, and Gerald McCann, who was Mayor of Jersey City, sued New York City, contending that New Jersey should have dominion over Liberty Islandmarker because it is in the New Jersey portion of the Hudson River. The federally owned island is about away from Jersey Citymarker and over two miles from New York City. By default—since the court chose not to hear the case—the existing legal status of the portions of the island that are above water was left unchanged. The riparian rights to all of the submerged land surrounding the statue belong to New Jersey, however, being in New Jersey waters. Once the Dutch colony of New Netherlands included both Manhattan and the areas claimed of New Jersey in their colony, but the islands of New York harbor have been part of New York since the issuance in 1664 of the atypical British colonial charter that claimed the Dutch province of New Netherlands. The Dutch made little resistance to the claim by the British and in 1649 the British created the Province of New Jersey and failed to provide a boundary in the middle of the Hudson River although the boundary line for the water rights later was moved to the middle of the channel.

The federal park service states that the Statue of Liberty is on Liberty Island, which is a federal property that is administered by the National Park Service and that, officially, the island is located within the territorial jurisdiction of the state of New York because of a pact between the state governments of New York and New Jersey that declared a resolution to this issue, which was ratified by Congress in 1834.

Aftermath of 9/11

Liberty Islandmarker closed on September 11, 2001; the island reopened in December, the monument reopened on August 3, 2004, the crown and interior finally reopened on July 4, 2009. The National Park Service claimed that the statue was not shut after 9/11 because of a terrorist threat, but principally because of a long list of fire regulation contraventions, including inadequate evacuation procedures.

The Statue of Liberty had previously been threatened by terrorism, according to the FBI. On February 18, 1965, the Federal Bureau of Investigationmarker (FBI) announced it had uncovered a plot by three terrorists from the "Black Liberation Front", who allegedly were connected to Cubamarker, and a female co-conspirator from Montrealmarker connected with the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ), seeking independence for Quebecmarker from Canadamarker, who were sent to destroy the statue and at least two other national monuments—the Liberty Bellmarker in Philadelphiamarker and the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.marker.

In June 2006, a bill, S. 3597, was proposed in Senate which, if approved, would have re-opened the crown and interior of the Statue of Liberty to visitors. In July 2007, a similar measure was proposed in the House of Representatives.

On August 9, 2006, National Park Service Director Fran P. Mainella, in a letter to Congressman Anthony D. Weiner of New York stated that the crown and interior of the statue would remain closed indefinitely. The letter stated that "the current access patterns reflect a responsible management strategy in the best interests of all our visitors." The Park Service was criticised for delays in re-opening the base and pedestal, as well as for relying on private donations to implement the necessary safety and security measures.

On July 4, 2009, the Statue of Liberty's crown was re-opened for the first time since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The statue (excluding the torch), museum, and ten-story pedestal are open for visitors, but are only accessible if visitors have a "Monument Access Pass" which is a reservation that visitors must make in advance of their visit and pick up before boarding the ferry. Visitors to Liberty Island and the Statue are subject to restrictions, including personal searches similar to the security found in airport. There are a maximum of 3,000 passes available each day (with a total of 15,000 visitors to the island daily). The ladder to the torch still is closed and has been since 1916.


At 2:45 p.m. on February 2, 1912, steeplejack Frederick R. Law successfully performed a parachute jump from the observation platform surrounding the torch. It was done with the permission of the army captain administering the island. The New York Times reported that he "fell fully seventy-five feet [23 m] like a dead weight, the parachute showing no inclination whatsoever to open at first", but he then descended "gracefully", landed hard, and limped away.

The first death occurred May 13, 1929. The Times reported a witness as saying the man, later identified as Ralph Gleason, crawled out through one of the windows of the crown, turned around as if to return, "seemed to slip" and "shot downward, bouncing off the breast of the statue in the plunge." Gleason was killed when he landed on a patch of grass at the base, just a few feet from a workman who was mowing the grass.

On August 23, 2001, French stuntman Thierry Devaux parasailed onto the monument and got hung up on the statue's torch in a bungled attempt to bungee jump from it. He was not hurt and was charged with four misdemeanor offenses including trespassing.


The bronze plaque, located in the Statue of liberty exhibit on the second floor of the pedestal, is inscribed with the sonnet "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus. It has never been engraved on the exterior of the pedestal, despite such depictions in editorial cartoons.

The first two lines refer to the ancient Colossus of Rhodesmarker. The bronze plaque in the pedestal contains a typographical error: the comma in "Keep, ancient lands" is missing, causing that line to read "'Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!' cries she", and noticeably altering its meaning. The name "Mother of Exiles" was never taken up as the statue's name.

Replicas and derivative works

Hundreds of other Statues of Liberty have been erected worldwide.

Boy Scouts of America placed a small-scale replica of the Statue of Liberty at the Gentry Building in Columbia, Missouri in 1950. Located at the Parks & Recreation Administration Offices, at Seventh and Broadway, the plaque notes that the statue was dedicated as a pledge of everlasting fidelity and loyalty. The local project was a component of the Scouts' national 40th anniversary celebration which had Strengthen the Arm of Liberty as its theme. More than 200 replicas were placed nationally as a result.

There also is a replica statue in the middle of the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The statue is almost entirely white as viewed from US-322 East and West going past the river. Another replica, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, stands at the entrance of Capaha Park.

There is a sister statue in Paris and several others elsewhere in France, including one in Bartholdi's home town of Colmarmarker, erected in 2004 to mark the centenary of Bartholdi's death; they also exist in Austria, Germany, Italy, Japan, China, Brazil and Vietnam; one existed in Hanoi during French colonial days. There are replicas in theme parks and resorts, including the New York-New York Hotel & Casinomarker in Las Vegas on the Stripmarker, replicas created as commercial advertising, and replicas erected in U.S. communities by patriotic benefactors, including no fewer than two hundred donated by Boy Scout troops to local communities. During the Tiananmen Square protest of 1989marker, Chinese student demonstrators in Beijing built a ten meter image called the Goddess of Democracy, which sculptor Tsao Tsing-yuan said was intentionally dissimilar to the Statue of Liberty to avoid being "too openly pro-American." At around the same time, a copy of this statue was made and displayed on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C.marker, in a small park across the street from the Chinese Embassy.

The sculptor James Alexander Ewing's most prestigious commission was for the carving of the Glasgow City Chambersmarker' Jubilee Pediment, its apex group of Truth, Riches, and Honour, and the statues of The Four Seasons on the building's tower. The figure of Truth also is known as Glasgow's Statue of Liberty, because of its close resemblance to the similarly posed, but very much larger, statue in New York harbour.

In popular culture

The Statue of Liberty quickly became a popular icon, featured in scores of posters, pictures, motion pictures, and books. A 1911 O. Henry story relates a fanciful conversation between "Mrs. Liberty" and another statue; it figured in 1918 Liberty Loan posters. During the 1940s and 1950s, pulp Science Fiction magazines featured Lady Liberty surrounded by ruins or by the sediments of the ages. It has been in dozens of motion pictures. It is a setting in the 1942 Alfred Hitchcock movie Saboteur, which featured a climactic confrontation at the statue. Half submerged in the sand, the Statue provided the apocalyptic revelation at the end of 1968's Planet of the Apes. The statue walked from Liberty Island to Manhattan in the 1989 film, Ghostbusters II, to defeat the villain with positive energy when it inspired hope amongst cheering New Yorkers. It was the setting for the climax of the first X-Men film. It can also be seen lying broken on the ground in the movie Independence Day, after the first wave of attacks by extraterrestrials. In the 2004 movie The Day After Tomorrow, the statue gets frozen, and in the 2008 movie Cloverfield, it is decapitated by a giant monster; its head lands in a Manhattan street. In the 1994 Gundam series G Gundam, the protagonist hides his Gundam in the abandoned statue and then makes it jump out of the statue, destroying it. In the film, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, the sister statue in Paris provides a clue. The history of the Statue of Liberty is retold in the hit 2008 illustrated book Lady Liberty: A Biography.

It was the subject of a 1978 University of Wisconsin–Madisonmarker prank in which Lady Liberty appeared to be standing submerged in a frozen-over local lake. It has appeared on New York and New Jersey license plates, is used as a logo for the NHL's New York Rangers and the WNBA's New York Liberty, and it was the subject of magician David Copperfield's largest vanishing act.

In 1982 Jessica Skinner was born inside the statue. Her mother went into labor while climbing the stairs, and gave birth before she could get back to ground level.

See also


Further reading

  • Holdstock, Robert, editor. Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. London: Octopus books, 1978.
  • Moreno, Barry. The Statue of Liberty Encyclopedia. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.
  • Smith, V. Elaine, "Engineering Miss Liberty's Rescue." Popular Science, June 1986, page 68.
  • Vidal, Pierre. FrĂ©dĂ©ric-Auguste Bartholdi 1834–1904: Par la Main, par l'Esprit. Paris: Les crĂ©ations du pĂ©lican, 2000.

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