Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the United States from the people of France for the 100th birthday of America's Independence. The Statue of Liberty has become an American symbol of freedom and welcome to the immigrants who come to the USA looking for a better life.

Statue of Liberty, New York
Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island

History

Statue of Liberty Head in Paris
Before the end of construction, the statue's head was exhibited at the Paris World's Fair in 1878.

The statue was a gift to the United States from the people of France in recognition of the friendship established during the American Revolution. It represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (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. Statue is located on small island in New York harbor, which is as of 1956 officially called Liberty island.

French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was engaged to design a sculpture, with the year 1876 in mind for completion, to commemorate the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. A prominent French architect and structural engineer, Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel was hired to design interior of the sculpture. American people were responsible to build the pedestal for the statue. However, lack of funds was a problem for both French and American. In France, public fees, various forms of entertainment, and a lottery were among the methods used to raise funds. In the United States, benefit theatrical events, art exhibitions, auctions and prize fights assisted in providing needed funds.

Finally, ceremony of dedication was held on October 28, 1886.

Golden Torch

Statue of Liberty Torch

The new, new copper torch covered in 24K gold leaf, replaced the original one in 1984. It is lighted by floodlight at night. Access to the torch has been closed since 1916.

Original Torch

Statue of Liberty Original Torch

The Statue's original torch was the first part constructed in 1876. It is currently located in the lobby of the monument.

The Crown

The crown is the highest level open to visitors. In order to get to the crown visitors need to climb 354 steps. There are seven rays on crown, one for each of the seven continents and the seven seas, each measuring up to 9 feet in length and weighing as much as 150 pounds. The crown was closed to the public following the events of September 11, but reopened in 2009. Groups of 10 people at a time can now climb up to this level.