The Story of the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty from New York or "Liberty Enlightening the World" (in everyday speech Miss Liberty or Lady Liberty) is a monument situated in Liberty Island port from New York City. It was placed at the entrance port of the island in 1886 in order to convey greetings of welcome to travelers arriving on American soil. The United States received this statue as a gift from France at the celebration of 100 years of U.S. independence. The statue has a height of 46.5 m without socket and of 93 m with socket. Its structure consists of an iron skeleton which is covered by a copper coating. The monument has a weight of 225 tons, and the color of the statue became green due to copper oxidation. Its star-shaped base is made of stone. Inside the statue is a open museum. The statue represents the goddess of liberty standing with one foot on the broken chain of slavery.

The goddess holds a plate in her left hand with the inscription "July IV MDCCLXXVI" (4 July 1776), the date on which the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America was ratified. In its right hand the statue holds a torch with a golden flame. The goddess wears a crown on its head, which is adorned with seven beams of light that symbolize the seven seas and continents, the 25 windows symbolizing the 25 gems of the world. The copper shell of the statue was designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi of Alsace and the metal frame by the engineer Gustave Eiffel, the famous architect, structural engineer and builder of the Eiffel Tower. The idea for the project of the Statue of Liberty is based on an observation that the French lawyer and politician Édouard René de Laboulaye made in 1865. In a conversation after a festive dinner at his home near Versailles, the enthusiastic supporters of the Northern States observed during the Civil War: "If a statue would be built in the United States, which commemorates its independence, then I think it is only natural that it arises through combined forces, a collaborative work between two nations".

These words inspired the sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, who was present as a guest at the feast. The first model at a small scale and cast in bronze was made in 1870 and presented at the Universal Exhibition from Paris in 1900. Since 1906, the model is held at the Jardin du Luxemburg, Paris. The initial project was meant to be a monumental lighthouse, planned to be located at the entrance of the Suez Canal, with the Colossus of Rhodes as a motive of inspiration. It should be noted that for the construction of this giant, 300 sheets of 2.5 mm brass hammer, weighing 80 tons, and internal reinforcement, weighing 100 tons, that were projected by the famous engineer Gustave Eiffel, were used. The statue has been built in Paris in 1884 but arrived in the U.S. only in 1886. The Statue of Liberty is today the emblem of the United States and one of the best known symbols of freedom and democracy from the whole world. Read more facts about science here.