Statue of Liberty Monument
The Statue of Liberty is actually named La Liberte eclairant le Monde, meaning Liberty Enlightening the World. The statue is on Liberty Island in New York, as the welcome to the entrance of New York Harbor, all part of the larger Liberty National Monument.
The Statue was a gift from the French for the Franco-American Union for the celebration of the United States Centennial year. The ides of the statue was from French political Edouard Rene Lefebvre de Laboulaye, with the idea of the statue arriving in New York for the celebrations in 1876. Unfortunately, technical and financial issues caused a decade long delay. Construction did not begin until 1875, and the statue was not completed until 1884, where it was presented in France.
The statue was an ambitious project, and required the serviced of Gustav Eiffel to construct the framework for the colossal statue. The massive framework was created out of a wrought iron allow named “puddle iron”, but later sever deterioration caused it to be replaced with stainless steel. It was cast in a Norwegian copper, with the exterior being shipped in 350 pieces to be assembled around the frame. This design allows the Statue of Liberty to sway almost 5 inches during 50 mph winds.
The Statue of Liberty is an astounding 151 foot tall copper statue, placed on top of a 154 foot base, making it combined height of 305 feet tall over the harbor. The green shade is a patina that forms naturally on copper when it is left to weather in the elements. Many reconstructive efforts have occurred to replace the torch, mend holes in the copper, and refinish the Statue of Liberty for its re-dedication in 1986.
This statue is full of symbolism. Her crown has seven spikes which represent the sevens seas from where immigrants arrive from. There are broken shackles around her feet with represent the oppression of the homelands these immigrants leave behind. The date the colonist declared independence, July 4th, 1776 is featured on the tablet Lady Liberty carries. In 1903, Ezra Lazarus’s poem, “The New Colossus” was added to the pedestal.
In 2005, over 4 million people visited the Statue of Liberty, making it the most visited attraction in North America. She is the one of the first things any ocean traveler to New York will see, especially for any emigrants. Therefore Lady Liberty is a powerful symbol for the United States, making it famous worldwide, and depicted in many representations internationally.