History of the Statue of Liberty of New York



Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous monuments of the United States. This monumental statue is located in New York on the Liberty Island, south of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson and close to Ellis Island. It was built in France and hosted by the French people, a sign of friendship between the two nations, to celebrate the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. The statue was unveiled on the 28 October 1886 by the presence of the US president, Grover Cleveland.

The idea came from the lawyer and professor at the College de France, Édouard de Laboulaye in 1865. The project was entrusted in 1871 to the French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi. For the choice of brass to be employed in the construction, the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc had the idea of repulsed technique. In 1879, after the death of Viollet-le-Duc, Bartholdi called on engineer Gustave Eiffel to determine the internal structure of the statue. The latter imagined a metal pylon supporting the hammered and fixed copper plates.

The statue is part of the National Historic Landmark since 15 October 1924 and in the World Heritage List of UNESCO since 1984. The Statue of Liberty, in addition to being a very important monument of the city of New York, became a symbol of the United States and more generally represents the freedom and vis-à-vis empowerment Of oppression. From its opening in 1886, the statue has been the first vision of the United States for millions of immigrants after a long crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

The statue depicts a woman in an upright position, wearing a loose robe and wearing a crown with seven spikes, symbolizing the Seven Continents of North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and Antarctica. However, the seven spikes could also evoke the seven seas of Arctic, Antarctic, North and South Atlantic, North and South Pacific and Indian Ocean. The crown also reminds one that carried the sun god Helios.

It constitutes the main element of the Statue of Liberty National Monument managed by the National Park Service. The creation of the Statue of Liberty stands in the tradition of the Colossus of Rhodes and some performances were undoubtedly an inspiration for Bartholdi.

After the attacks of 11 September 2001, access was forbidden for safety reasons and the pedestal reopened in 2004 and the statue in 2009 by the Secretary of the Interior of President Obama, Ken Salazar, limiting the number of visitors allowed for access to the crown. The statue including pedestal and base was closed for one year until October 28, 2012, so that a secondary staircase and other security features could be installed.

One day after the reopening, access was again banned because of the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. The access to the island and the statue were reopened on July 4, 2013. Public access to the balcony surrounding the torch is still prohibited for security reasons since 1916.

The statue quickly became a popular icon and featured on numerous posters and images in various films and books. In 1918, the monument was on the poster for the Victory Loan granted by the United States to Europe. The representations of the statue of the damaged or destroyed Liberty is a recurring iconographic theme at the end of the xixth century, whether on posters, illustrations, comics or film, with a gain in popularity from the beginning of twentieth century.

From 1940 to 1950, many tabloids depicted the statue surrounded by ruins and sediments. During the Cold War, the statue was depicted on propaganda posters as a symbol of freedom of the United States. American designers made the incarnation of New York after the attacks of 11 September 2001. Advertising was also used to showcase products such as Coca-Cola or the chewing gum. The statue has also inspired painters of the xxth century as Andy Warhol.

In the movie, the statue has made numerous appearances. The first dates back to 1917 in the film by Charlie Chaplin The Emigrant. In 1942, she appeared in the final scene of the movie Fifth Column of Alfred Hitchcock. At the end of the first version of Planet of the Apes, it is partially buried in the sand of a beach. In Superman, it is removed from its base by an enemy of Superman, before it is redeposited there. In Ghostbusters 2, Miss Liberty comes to life and animates to defeat enemies.

She was also filmed in other blockbusters such as The Fifth Element, The Day After, AI Artificial Intelligence, as well as in cut-scenes of TV series like Sex and the City and CSI: NY. In Cloverfield, the disaster movie directed by Matt Reeves, a monster sow destruction in New York. We see a scene where the head of the statue of Liberty crashes brutally in the street. In the animated film Ballerina (2016), the statue is shown as under construction in Paris.

In 1978, the statue was at the heart of a hoax invented in the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Several students reproduce the upper parts of the statue to place them in a frozen lake in the area, giving the impression that it emerges. The monument would furthermore on the license plates of the New York State as well as those of New Jersey. In the world of sport, Lady Liberty serves the team logo of the NHL for the New York Rangers, and the basketball team New York Liberty, who plays in the WNBA.

To celebrate the centenary of the monument, the French post created in 1986 a stamp showing the face of the statue entitled Freedom. In 2000, the monument was part of proposals to be designated as the seven new wonders of the world project launched by the Swiss filmmaker Bernard Weber. The logo of the University of New York took over the torch of the Statue of Liberty to show that serves the city of New York.

The torch appears on both the seal and the university logo, designed by Ivan Chermayeff in 1965. There is also a silver torch carried by Tiffany & Co, a gift from Helen Miller Gould in 1911.

Elsewhere in the world, the most famous lines are those of the casino New York in Las Vegas and that the Odaiba in Tokyo. During the events of Tiananmen Square in 1989 in Beijing, protesters exhibited a statue called Goddess of Democracy, which was based largely on the Statue of Liberty. There are other replicas of the Statue of Liberty, including Pristina, in Kosovo. It symbolizes the liberation of the country by the Americans. Buenos Aires is the castle of Val d'Osne in the Belgrano park.

A Statue of Liberty and revised so Salvador Dalí is located at the entrance of the village of Cadaqués, Spain. There is virtually no replica of the Statue of Liberty in England. The Statue of Liberty is indeed the symbol of a victory of freedom and democracy against the monarchic system. Generally, the French republican symbols such as Marianne or the Statue of Liberty are vilified and denigrated by the English monarchists. However, they are appreciated by both Republicans and pro-independence Scottish traditionally sensitive to French ideals.



In Paris, it is at the downstream end of the Isle of Swans, the height of the Pont de Grenelle, near the former studio of Bartholdi with a height of 11.50 m. It faces the statue of New York. A version of 2.85 m bronze melted by Bartholdi in 1889 that stood since 1906 in the Luxembourg Garden, was moved in 2012, following the flight of its torch at the entrance of the nave of the sculptures of museum Orsay and replaced with a copy.

Because of its status as universal monument, the Statue of Liberty has been copied and reproduced at different scales and in different parts of the world. These reproductions are simple miniature souvenirs sold in the museum shop to large-scale reproductions that sit at the entrance of some towns or because they are related to the history of the monument or one of its creators, either because the original is a major symbol of freedom throughout the world.

The first miniature of the statue was made by the company Gaget-Gauthier, marketed and distributed to numerous personalities present at the inauguration ceremony on 28 October 1886, served as models for the various replicas built later. It is found mainly in France or the United States, but also in Austria, Germany, Brazil, China, Italy, Japan and Vietnam, a former French colony.

The statue was damaged when on 30 July 1916, the spy network of the German Empire, led by Franz von Rintelen, was skipping the ammunition depot of Black Tom Island to Jersey City to prevent the delivery thereof to the Agreement. The blast was enough to break windows over a distance of 40 km. Usually its strength was estimated at 5.5 on the Richter scale and the explosion damaged the Statue of Liberty. One hundred rivets yielded, among other damage. Since then, the visit of the statue's arm and torch is forbidden. Repairs cost $100000 at the time.

Access to the island was prohibited ten days after the explosion and to repair the torch, the government hired the sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who later designed the Mount Rushmore.

In 1983, the monument was placed at the heart of a promotional operation by American Express, to raise funds to maintain and renovate the building. It was agreed that each purchase made with an American Express card would result in a donation of a hundred by the banking business. The campaign allowed it to assemble 1.7 million dollars. In 1984, the statue was closed so that the work, for a total amount of 62 million dollars, can be conducted on the occasion of its centenary.

The president of Chrysler, Lee Iacocca was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the head of the commission responsible for overseeing the works, but was later removed to avoid any conflict of interest. The statue was reopened to the public on July 5 1986, the day after the Liberty Weekend.

The opening ceremony was held Thursday on 3 July in the Port of New York and Governors Island that attracted many celebrities such as Gene Kelly, Gregory Peck and Steven Spielberg. The President of the French Republic at the time, François Mitterrand, was the guest of honor in the ceremony. After several songs by Debbie Allen, Neil Diamond and Frank Sinatra, the then president, Ronald Reagan made two speeches, one in the middle of the ceremony to unveil the work on the statue, and the second at the end after lighting the torch of the statue and triggering the fireworks.

On July 4, the national holiday is celebrated near it, always in the presence of US President by a naval deployment of line vessels and large yachts in the port of New York. Reagan said that the procession was as colorful as fireworks, and Lady Liberty herself. A concert was held later in the evening, including the participation of composer John Williams. The next morning, the president's wife, Nancy Reagan gave a speech marking the reopening of the statue to the public and in the evening a opera was performed in Central Park. On July 6, the closing ceremonies were held in the Giants Stadium located in New Jersey, but geographically close to the statue.
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