Manhattan, New York City,
New York, United States
|Dedicated||October 28, 1886|
|Restored||1938, 1984–1986, 2011–2012|
|Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi|
A gift to us from France Bartholdi who was inspired by French law professor and politician Édouard René de Laboulaye, who is said to have commented in 1865 that any monument raised to American independence would properly be a joint project of the French and American peoples. He may have been minded to honor the Union victory in the American Civil War and the end of slavery.
Laboulaye proposed that a gift be built for the United States on behalf of France. Laboulaye hoped that by calling attention to the recent achievements of the United States, the French people would be inspired to call for their own democracy in the face of a repressive monarchy.
Due to the post-war instability in France, work on the statue did not commence until the early 1870s. In 1875, Laboulaye proposed that the French finance the statue and the Americans provide the site and build the pedestal. Bartholdi completed the head and the torch-bearing arm before the statue was fully designed, and these pieces were exhibited for publicity at international expositions.
Here are some pictures of it being built...
Arriving at New York Harbor, Bartholdi focused on Bedloe's Island as a site for the statue, struck by the fact that vessels arriving in New York had to sail past it. He was delighted to learn that the island was owned by the United States government
The building of the pedestal as agreed upon
The book she carries is a tablet (evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.
A broken chain lies at her feet.
The statue has been restored three times, this is a picture of Nancy Regan in the red at the re-opening of the statue in 1986
I have had the privilege of seeing it like this
but it stands at its best from out at sea......
My Dad sailed by her while being shipped out for World War II and said he didn't think he would ever see it again but here he is coming home on the Queen Mary!! What a wonderful sight it must have been.