Statue of Liberty
The Statue Of Liberty
New York, NY 10004
The story of the Statue of Liberty is a story of change. The people of France gave the Statue to the people of the United States over one hundred years ago in recognition of a friendship established during the American Revolution. Over the years, the meanings of the Statue have grown until she has become an international icon of freedom and liberty, the most recognizable symbol of democracy in the world.
The idea of the Statue originated around 1865 with Edouard de Laboulaye who saw the United States as a country that had proved that democracy was a viable type of government- after all they had just survived a Civil War and abolished slavery. De Laboulaye also saw the gift as a way to reflect his wish for a democracy in France. Artist Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, who was known for large-scale work, was commissioned to design this sculpture. Nothing happened for some time, but finally (in 1874) Bartholdi came to the United States to look for a location for his monument. He saw Bedloe’s Island from his ship as he sailed into the New York Harbor, and realized it would be a perfect location – since here his statue would always have an audience.
Since the Statue was a joint effort between American and France, it was agreed that the American people were to build the pedestal, and the French people were responsible for the Statue and assembly.
The Statue was completed in France in July of 1884, then disassembled and shipped to the United States. She arrived in NY In June 1885. Once the pedestal was finished, the statue was re-assembled in four months. On October 28, 1886 the dedication of the Statue of Liberty took place in front of thousands of spectators.
In May of 1982, in anticipation of the Statue’s 100th birthday a restoration project was initiated. At the start of the Statue’s restoration, the United Nations in 1984 designated the Statue of Liberty as a World Heritage Site. The newly restored Statue opened to the public on July 5, 1986 during Liberty Weekend, which celebrated her centennial.