Statue of Liberty

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Liberty, Statue of,

statue on Liberty Island in Upper New York Bay, commanding the entrance to New York City. Liberty Island, c.10 acres (4 hectares), formerly Bedloe's Island (renamed in 1956), was the former site of a quarantine station and harbor fortifications. The statue, originally known as Liberty Enlightening the World, was proposed by the French historian Édouard Laboulaye in 1865 to commemorate the alliance of France with the American colonies during the American Revolution and, according to scholars, was originally intended as an antimonarchy and antislavery symbol. Funds were raised by the Franco-American Union (est. 1875), and the statue was designed by the French sculptor F. A. BartholdiBartholdi, Frédéric Auguste
, 1834–1904, French sculptor, b. Colmar, Alsace. He studied painting under Ary Scheffer but turned to sculpture. Among his many works is a colossal group, Switzerland Succoring Strasbourg,
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 in the form of a woman with an uplifted arm holding a torch. The world's tallest metal statue when it was made, 151 ft (46 m) in height, it was constructed of copper sheets, using Bartholdi's 9-ft (2.7-m) model. A. G. EiffelEiffel, Alexandre Gustave
, 1832–1923, French engineer. A noted constructor of bridges and viaducts, he also designed the Eiffel Tower and the internal structure of the Statue of Liberty (see Liberty, Statue of.
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 design the internal iron pylon and skeletal framework that supports the copper sheets. The statue was shipped to New York City in 1885, assembled, and dedicated in 1886.

The base of the statue is an 11-pointed star, part of old Fort Wood; a 154-ft (47-m) pedestal, built through American funding and designed by Richard Morris HuntHunt, Richard Morris,
1828–95, American architect, b. Brattleboro, Vt., studied in Geneva, Switzerland, and at the École des Beaux-Arts; brother of William Morris Hunt. He was a leading practitioner of 19th-century eclecticism. Hunt worked under T. U.
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, is made of concrete faced with granite. On it is a tablet, affixed in 1903, inscribed with "The New Colossus," the famous sonnet of Emma Lazarus, welcoming immigrants to the United States. By the early 20th cent, this greeting to the arriving stranger had become the statue's primary symbolic message. Broadening in its meaning, the statue became a symbol of America during World War I and a ubiquitous democratic symbol during World War II. An elevator runs to the top of the pedestal, and steps within the statue lead to the crown.

The Statue of Liberty became a national monument in 1924. In 1965, Ellis IslandEllis Island,
island, c.27 acres (10.9 hectares), in Upper New York Bay, SW of Manhattan island. Government-controlled since 1808, it was long the site of an arsenal and a fort, but most famously served (1892–1954) as the chief immigration station of the United States.
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, the entrance point of millions of immigrants to the United States, was added to the monument. The statue was extensively refurbished, including replacing the torch, prior to its centennial celebration in 1986. The Statue of Liberty Museum, on Liberty Island in a separate facility and containing the statue's original torch, opened in 2019.


See M. Trachtenberg, The Statue of Liberty (1976); W. S. Dillon, ed., The Statue of Liberty Revisited (1994); B. Moreno, The Statue of Liberty Encyclopedia (2000); Y. S. Khan, Enlightening the World: The Creation of the Statue of Liberty (2010); E. Mitchell, Liberty's Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty (2014).

Statue of Liberty

great symbolic structure in New York harbor. [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 284]
See: America

Statue of Liberty

perhaps the most famous monument to independence. [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 284]
See: Freedom
References in periodicals archive ?
Remember it was the French who gave us that wonderful statue celebrating liberte in New York Harbor, of the lady holding a torch, the one they so aptly named Liberty Enlightening the World.
Based on extensive research including travels to France where Liberty Enlightening the World was created, an independent scholar chronicles the story behind its conception, construction, and gifting to the US in the wake of the Civil War.
Dedicated in 1886, the Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift from France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the U.S.
Hill's team is still working to create a surface model of Liberty Enlightening the World.
"Did You Know?" sidebars highlight interesting facts--such as the Statue of Liberty's original name, Liberty Enlightening the World. (Weigl Publishers: 350 5th Avenue, Suite 3304, PMB 6G, New York, NY 10018-0069; 866-649-3445)
Bartholdi returned to France and began planning his statue, which he called Liberty Enlightening the World. Since France was in political turmoil at the time, Laboulaye and Bartholdi felt the timing wasn't right to introduce the project to the French people.
Immigrants pull into the harbor, see Liberty Enlightening the World, and behind her the Manhattan skyline (that symbol of liberty run amok), file into Ellis Island, are flattened equally into submission, settle into tenements at the base of skyscrapers (inequality made manifest), study, work hard, rise in the world through effort, merit, and luck, and eventually become a symbol of inequality for others in turn.
1886: The Statue of Liberty Enlightening The World was dedicated by President Grover Cleveland as a monument to democracy.

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