Celebrating 130 Years of The Statue of Liberty
Y esterday marked 130 years since the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York; and I thought I would commemorate the day with some photographs I had taken of one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.
Officially dedicated on Thursday, October 28, 1886 after the pedestal was finished and the pieces were assembled, the statue of “Liberty Enlightening the World” — its official full name — was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States of America; and is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. Designated as a National Monument in 1924, “employees of the National Park Service have been caring for the colossal copper statue since 1933”, according to the official Internet web site of the statue.
Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi — the sculptor who designed the Statue of Liberty — was born in Colmar, which is located in the Alsace region of France. At the northern entrance of the town of Colmar is a smaller scale model of the Statue of Liberty in honor of Bartholdi, dedicated on Sunday, July 4, 2004 in commemoration of 100 years since his death. I am certain that I have a photograph of that replica statue from a trip to Europe several years ago but I am unable to find it at the moment. Please accept my apologies; but if I do find it, I will be sure to post it in a future article.
If you visit Paris, there is a smaller scale replica of the Statue of Liberty located on an island in the middle of the Seine River near the Pont de Grenelle. Again, I cannot find it at the moment; but I have a photograph of this replica of the Statue of Liberty with the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Eerie dark clouds were brewing in the sky in the background, emphasizing the green of the statue. It was a decidedly creepy and strange photograph, if memory serves me correctly.
Did you know that if it were not for the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx in Egypt — which you should visit at your earliest opportunity — there probably would not have been a Statue of Liberty?
From 1855 to 1856, Bartholdi embarked on a life-changing trip throughout Europe and the Middle East with some fellow artists. When they visited the Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, Bartholdi discovered his passion for large-scale public monuments and colossal sculptures. In 1869, the Egyptian government expressed interest in designing a lighthouse for the Suez Canal. Eager and excited, Bartholdi designed a colossal statue of a robed woman holding a torch, which he called Egypt (or Progress) Brings Light to Asia. When he attended the canal’s inauguration, however, Bartholdi was informed that he would not be able to proceed with the lighthouse.
Although disappointed, Bartholdi received a second chance to design a colossal statue. In 1865, Edouard de Laboulaye proposed that a monument representing freedom and democracy be created for the United States. Bartholdi was a great supporter of Laboulaye’s idea and in 1870 he began designing the Statue of “Liberty Enlightening the World.”
I have visited the Statue of Liberty several times; and I have been to the crown. I have plenty of additional photographs of the Statue of Liberty both inside and outside, which I intend to post in a future article.
In the meantime, here are some photographs of the Statue of Liberty. May she grace New York Harbor — technically Upper New York Bay — with her unique presence and aura for at least another 130 years.
All photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.