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Statue of Liberty - Height, Location and Timeline

Statue of Liberty - Height, Location and Timeline

The Statue of Liberty was a joint effort between France and the United States, intended to commemorate the lasting friendship between the peoples of the two nations. The French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi created the statue itself out of sheets of hammered copper, while Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the man behind the famed Eiffel Tower, designed the statue’s steel framework. The Statue of Liberty was then given to the United States and erected atop an American-designed pedestal on a small island in Upper New York Bay, now known as Liberty Island, and dedicated by President Grover Cleveland in 1886. Over the years, the statue stood tall as millions of immigrants arrived in America via nearby Ellis Island; in 1986, it underwent an extensive renovation in honor of the centennial of its dedication. Today, the Statue of Liberty remains an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy, as well as one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks.

Origins of the Statue of Liberty

Around 1865, as the American Civil War drew to a close, the French historian Edouard de Laboulaye proposed that France create a statue to give to the United States in celebration of that nation’s success in building a viable democracy. The sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, known for largescale sculptures, earned the commission; the goal was to design the sculpture in time for the centennial of the Declaration of Independence in 1876. The project would be a joint effort between the two countries–the French people were responsible for the statue and its assembly, while the Americans would build the pedestal on which it would stand–and a symbol of the friendship between their peoples.

Due to the need to raise funds for the statue, work on the sculpture did not begin until 1875. Bartholdi’s massive creation, titled “Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World,” depicted a woman holding a torch in her raised right hand and a tablet in her left, upon which was engraved “July 4, 1776,” the adoption date of the Declaration of Independence. Bartholdi, who was said to have modeled the woman’s face after that of his mother, hammered large copper sheets to create the statue’s “skin” (using a technique called repousse). To create the skeleton on which the skin would be assembled, he called on Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, designer of Paris’ Eiffel Tower. Along with Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, Eiffel built a skeleton out of iron pylon and steel that allowed the copper skin to move independently, a necessary condition for the strong winds it would endure in the chosen location of New York Harbor.

Statue of Liberty: Assembly and Dedication

While work went on in France on the actual statue, fundraising efforts continued in the United States for the pedestal, including contests, benefits and exhibitions. Near the end, the leading New York newspaperman Joseph Pulitzer used his paper, the World, to raise the last necessary funds. Designed by the American architect Richard Morris Hunt, the statue’s pedestal was constructed inside the courtyard of Fort Wood, a fortress built for the War of 1812 and located on Bedloe’s Island, off the southern tip of Manhattan in Upper New York Bay.

In 1885, Bartholdi completed the statue, which was disassembled, packed in more than 200 crates, and shipped to New York, arriving that June aboard the French frigate Isere. Over the next four months, workers reassembled the statue and mounted it on the pedestal; its height reached 305 feet (or 93 meters), including the pedestal. On October 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland officially dedicated the Statue of Liberty in front of thousands of spectators.

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

In 1892, the U.S. government opened a federal immigration station on Ellis Island, located near Bedloe’s Island in Upper New York Bay. Between 1892 and 1954, some 12 million immigrants were processed on Ellis Island before receiving permission to enter the United States. From 1900-14, during the peak years of its operation, some 5,000 to 10,000 people passed through every day.

Looming above New York Harbor nearby, the Statue of Liberty provided a majestic welcome to those passing through Ellis Island. On a plaque at the entrance to the statue’s pedestal is engraved a sonnet called “The New Colossus,” written in 1883 by Emma Lazarus as part of a fundraising contest. Its most famous passage speaks to the statue’s role as a welcoming symbol of freedom and democracy for the millions of immigrants who came to America seeking a new and better life: “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free/The wretched refuse of your teeming shore/Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me/I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The Statue of Liberty Over the Years

Until 1901, the U.S. Lighthouse Board operated the Statue of Liberty, as the statue’s torch represented a navigational aid for sailors. After that date, it was placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. War Department due to Fort Wood’s status as a still-operational army post. In 1924, the federal government made the statue a national monument, and it was transferred to the care of the National Parks Service in 1933. In 1956, Bedloe’s Island was renamed Liberty Island, and in 1965, more than a decade after its closure as a federal immigration station, Ellis Island became part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.

By the early 20th century, the oxidation of the Statue of Liberty’s copper skin through exposure to rain, wind and sun had given the statue a distinctive green color, known as verdigris. In 1984, the statue was closed to the public and underwent a massive restoration in time for its centennial celebration. Even as the restoration began, the United Nations designated the Statue of Liberty as a World Heritage Site. On July 5, 1986, the Statue of Liberty reopened to the public in a centennial celebration. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Liberty Island closed for 100 days; the Statue of Liberty itself was not reopened to visitor access until August 2004. In July 2009, the statue’s crown was again reopened to the public, though visitors must make a reservation to climb to the top of the pedestal or to the crown.


Dimensions of the Statue of Liberty

The statue measures 46.05m high. It's 46.94 on a pedestal, making a total height of 92.99m. At one centimeter had completeness . In rounding the dimension it has approximately the same size for the base and the statue. It was a desire to Morris Hunt, architect of the base, not to the largest that the statue itself. In fact he had originally designed a bombastic base, too, he alone was a work of art and finally eclipsed the statue. The choice that was made was finally simpler, more consistent with the statue. Other dimensions are perhaps more explicit: the tablet is 7m19 up, right arm outstretched to the sky, makes 12m80. The face measuring 3m05 and nothing but her biggest nail measuring 65cm!

For fun, if we report the size of her feet to the size of the shoes in the United States, Miss Liberty chausserait of 879.

Below a picture of the dimensions of the statue, in every sense.

The statue

Height from floor to the top of the torch

Height from the feet at the top of the head

Height from the top of the head at the top of the torch

The head

Larger radius of the crown

The hands

Circumference of the index (in the 2nd phalanx)

Others dimensions

When we look at the Statue of Liberty from afar, one is inevitably impressed by its size, but you can still hide behind the argument of saying that it is an optical effect. when one is at her feet, then there is no possibility to say it is not that big: She's really great, this statue. If everyone is impressed at a different time, for me, it was when her approach on the boat. Maybe it was because we are near sea level that you feel it raises even higher than when seen from Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan. Others will realize its height when in the museum and the glass ceiling show them below the statue. The vision of the staircase that seems to get lost in the metal structure is reminiscent of a giant spider's web. Some will be impressed when the feet of the statue, along the wall of the fort Bedloe. From here, the prospect realize the smallest statue than it actually is, but it is a feeling that the human brain knows to be false. Finally, for some, the mere sight of the far statue is enough to know that she's really great. In statuary, we speak of colossal statues of monumental statues, indicating a large statue. This notion is purely theoretical, it has not been standardized internationally. Some would say that it starts to 10m in height. Why not, it's an acceptable limit. Thus the statue of St Charles Borromée, to Arrona (Italy) is not one, despite its very large size. The Corcovado, Brazil can be considered a monumental statue. You have a table of the main monumental statues in the world.

Why did you create such an imposing statue?

The reasons for the gigantism are in the context of the time. At the end of the nineteenth century the European states engaged in a trade war without thank you to ensure the hegemony of the country on the world. Each country has its moment of glory, France losing some of its power in the 1870s, during the war against Prussia. But economic power is not decreed: It is proved with practical achievements. The expertise of a country shows itself through the arts, politics, but especially with the technology. Good thing the late nineteenth century saw the proliferation of new techniques in the industry. The creation of a monumental statue of more than 40m high, was at that time a major challenge, both for the ability to conceive than to achieve it. In addition to the envelope of design constraints of the statue there are constraints of load and wind resistance, which was not all that easy to resolve. Some of the calculations are also playable on this site on this page. The outstretched arm was also quite a challenge, because there is no support below so that it fits from the ground. All this means that the statue is in itself a representation of French Engineering, Engineering within the meaning of public works. The building is a boon for France, it allows him to show the whole world its expertise.

In reality, no matter the size of France at that time, because the statue of the designers had only one reason for its construction: To shade the repressive regime of Napoleon III in the land of glorifying him Liberties providing the greatest possible statue glory. This is the reason for the gigantism: Making the most noise as possible around this statue.

In practice the statue must have had a maximum size, technologies not to make extremely large statues. Besides, who would want a statue 100m high? (The Chinese, who have made a more than 100m . see below) therefore had to agree to limit its size to a few things workable. 43m was chosen height. In fact, it's an enlargement of four of a statue a statue of this size. It must mean that the statue used model (which was already an enlargement of a smaller statue) saw its dimensions projected to the ground and multiplied by four to a set of high 46m. A small reverse calculation shows that the statue model was used 11m50 high.


Statue of Liberty

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Statue of Liberty, formally Liberty Enlightening the World, colossal statue on Liberty Island in the Upper New York Bay, U.S., commemorating the friendship of the peoples of the United States and France. Standing 305 feet (93 metres) high including its pedestal, it represents a woman holding a torch in her raised right hand and a tablet bearing the adoption date of the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) in her left. The torch, which measures 29 feet (8.8 metres) from the flame tip to the bottom of the handle, is accessible via a 42-foot (12.8-metre) service ladder inside the arm (this ascent was open to the public from 1886 to 1916). An elevator carries visitors to the observation deck in the pedestal, which may also be reached by stairway, and a spiral staircase leads to an observation platform in the figure’s crown. A plaque at the pedestal’s entrance is inscribed with a sonnet, “ The New Colossus” (1883) by Emma Lazarus. It was written to help raise money for the pedestal, and it reads:

What is the Statue of Liberty?

The Statue of Liberty is a 305-foot (93-metre) statue located on Liberty Island in Upper New York Bay, off the coast of New York City. The statue is a personification of liberty in the form of a woman. She holds a torch in her raised right hand and clutches a tablet in her left.

When was the Statue of Liberty built?

The Statue of Liberty was built in France between 1875 and 1884. It was disassembled and shipped to New York City in 1885. The statue was reassembled on Liberty Island in 1886, although the torch has been redesigned or restored several times since its installation.

Who sculpted the Statue of Liberty?

The Statue of Liberty was sculpted between 1875 and 1884 under the direction of French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, who began drafting designs in 1870. Bartholdi and his team hammered roughly 31 tons of copper sheets onto a steel frame. Before being mounted on its current pedestal, the statue stood over 151 feet (46 metres) tall and weighed 225 tons.

What is the Statue of Liberty holding?

In her raised right hand, the Statue of Liberty holds a torch. This represents the light that shows observers the path to freedom. In her left hand, she clutches a tablet bearing “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI,” the Declaration of Independence’s adoption date in Roman numerals.

Why is the Statue of Liberty important?

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most instantly recognizable statues in the world, often viewed as a symbol of both New York City and the United States. Additionally, the statue is situated near Ellis Island, where millions of immigrants were received until 1943. Because of this, the Statue of Liberty is also understood to represent hope, freedom, and justice.

A French historian, Édouard de Laboulaye, made the proposal for the statue in 1865. Funds were contributed by the French people, and work began in France in 1875 under sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi. The statue was constructed of copper sheets, hammered into shape by hand and assembled over a framework of four gigantic steel supports, designed by Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc and Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. The colossus was presented to the American minister to France Levi Morton (later vice president) in a ceremony in Paris on July 4, 1884. In 1885 the completed statue, 151 feet 1 inch (46 metres) high and weighing 225 tons, was disassembled and shipped to New York City. The pedestal, designed by American architect Richard Morris Hunt and built within the walls of Fort Wood on Bedloe’s Island, was completed later. The statue, mounted on its pedestal, was dedicated by President Grover Cleveland on October 28, 1886. Over the years the torch underwent several modifications, including its conversion to electric power in 1916 and its redesign (with repoussé copper sheathed in gold leaf) in the mid-1980s, when the statue was repaired and restored by both American and French workers for a centennial celebration held in July 1986. The site was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1984.


Statue of Liberty

On July 4, 1884 France presented the United States with an incredible birthday gift: the Statue of Liberty! Without its pedestal it’s as tall as a 15-story building. She represents the United States. But the world-famous Statue of Liberty standing in New York Harbor was built in France. The statue was presented to the U.S., taken apart, shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in crates, and rebuilt in the U.S. It was France’s gift to the American people.

It all started at dinner one night near Paris in 1865. A group of Frenchmen were discussing their dictator-like emperor and the democratic government of the U.S. They decided to build a monument to American freedom—and perhaps even strengthen French demands for democracy in their own country. At that dinner was the sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi (bar-TOLE-dee). He imagined a statue of a woman holding a torch burning with the light of freedom.

Turning Bartholdi’s idea into reality took 21 years. French supporters raised money to build the statue, and Americans paid for the pedestal it would stand on. Finally, in 1886, the statue was dedicated.

FAST FACTS

• The statue sways 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) in the wind the torch sways 5 inches (12.7 centimeters).

• Visitors climb 354 steps (22 stories) to look out from 25 windows in the crown.

• The statue—151 feet, 1 inch (46 meters, 2.5 centimeters) tall—was the tallest structure in the U.S. at that time.

• Engineer Gustave Eiffel, who would later design the Eiffel Tower in Paris, designed Liberty’s “spine.” Inside the statue four huge iron columns support a metal framework that holds the thin copper skin.

• Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi knew he wanted to build a giant copper goddess he used his mother as the model.

• The statue is covered in 300 sheets of coin-thin copper. They were hammered into different shapes and riveted together.

• The arm with the torch measures 46 feet (14 meters) the finger, 8 feet (2.4 meters) the nose, nearly 5 feet (1.5 meters).

• Seven rays in the crown represent the Earth’s seven seas.

"The New Colossus", a poem written by Emma Lazarus in 1883, is on display on the Statue's pedestal.


The project

It remained to define more practical points. Starting with the statue itself, which is how it would be built. Auguste Bartholdi decided that she would be copper, manufactured under the mechanism of "rejected". Copper plates 2m 3 will be worked through in strength until they take shape by the architect. The assembly would be done gradually, piece by piece, then all would be mounted in full before being disassembled and reassembled on site. The internal structure would be hard as a central pillar masonry filled with sand. The power of the waves would thus inconsequential to the statue, which was intended to be installed near the ocean. However this solution will be quickly abandoned to make way for a forged iron structure more flexible, which oscillate with the winds.

Meanwhile US go up the pedestal at will, however respecting the plans of the engineer in charge of the internal structure, so that the statue comes together perfectly. Engineers from both countries regularly would make with their colleagues and would communicate constantly. The site is an initiative of the American proposal Bartholdi. Finally, the inauguration would take place 100 years after the Declaration of Independence of the United States to the day. Alas, if the project took place less correctly, this latter condition was far from being reached, since the statue was inaugurated. with 10 years late!


Contents

Origin

According to the National Park Service, the idea of a monument presented by the French people to the United States was first proposed by Édouard René de Laboulaye, president of the French Anti-Slavery Society and a prominent and important political thinker of his time. The project is traced to a mid-1865 conversation between Laboulaye, a staunch abolitionist, and Frédéric Bartholdi, a sculptor. In after-dinner conversation at his home near Versailles, Laboulaye, an ardent supporter of the Union in the American Civil War, is supposed to have said: "If a monument should rise in the United States, as a memorial to their independence, I should think it only natural if it were built by united effort—a common work of both our nations." [9] The National Park Service, in a 2000 report, however, deemed this a legend traced to an 1885 fundraising pamphlet, and that the statue was most likely conceived in 1870. [10] In another essay on their website, the Park Service suggested that Laboulaye was minded to honor the Union victory and its consequences, "With the abolition of slavery and the Union's victory in the Civil War in 1865, Laboulaye's wishes of freedom and democracy were turning into a reality in the United States. In order to honor these achievements, Laboulaye proposed that a gift be built for the United States on behalf of France. Laboulaye hoped that by calling attention to the recent achievements of the United States, the French people would be inspired to call for their own democracy in the face of a repressive monarchy." [11]

According to sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who later recounted the story, Laboulaye's alleged comment was not intended as a proposal, but it inspired Bartholdi. [9] Given the repressive nature of the regime of Napoleon III, Bartholdi took no immediate action on the idea except to discuss it with Laboulaye. Bartholdi was in any event busy with other possible projects in the late 1860s, he approached Isma'il Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, with a plan to build Progress or Egypt Carrying the Light to Asia, [12] a huge lighthouse in the form of an ancient Egyptian female fellah or peasant, robed and holding a torch aloft, at the northern entrance to the Suez Canal in Port Said. Sketches and models were made of the proposed work, though it was never erected. There was a classical precedent for the Suez proposal, the Colossus of Rhodes: an ancient bronze statue of the Greek god of the sun, Helios. This statue is believed to have been over 100 feet (30 m) high, and it similarly stood at a harbor entrance and carried a light to guide ships. [13] Both the khedive and Lesseps declined the proposed statue from Bartholdi, citing the expensive cost. [14] The Port Said Lighthouse was built instead, by François Coignet in 1869.

Any large project was further delayed by the Franco-Prussian War, in which Bartholdi served as a major of militia. In the war, Napoleon III was captured and deposed. Bartholdi's home province of Alsace was lost to the Prussians, and a more liberal republic was installed in France. [9] As Bartholdi had been planning a trip to the United States, he and Laboulaye decided the time was right to discuss the idea with influential Americans. [15] In June 1871, Bartholdi crossed the Atlantic, with letters of introduction signed by Laboulaye. [16]

Arriving at New York Harbor, Bartholdi focused on Bedloe's Island (now named Liberty Island) as a site for the statue, struck by the fact that vessels arriving in New York had to sail past it. He was delighted to learn that the island was owned by the United States government—it had been ceded by the New York State Legislature in 1800 for harbor defense. It was thus, as he put it in a letter to Laboulaye: "land common to all the states." [17] As well as meeting many influential New Yorkers, Bartholdi visited President Ulysses S. Grant, who assured him that it would not be difficult to obtain the site for the statue. [18] Bartholdi crossed the United States twice by rail, and met many Americans who he thought would be sympathetic to the project. [16] But he remained concerned that popular opinion on both sides of the Atlantic was insufficiently supportive of the proposal, and he and Laboulaye decided to wait before mounting a public campaign. [19]

Bartholdi had made a first model of his concept in 1870. [20] The son of a friend of Bartholdi's, U.S. artist John LaFarge, later maintained that Bartholdi made the first sketches for the statue during his U.S. visit at La Farge's Rhode Island studio. Bartholdi continued to develop the concept following his return to France. [20] He also worked on a number of sculptures designed to bolster French patriotism after the defeat by the Prussians. One of these was the Lion of Belfort, a monumental sculpture carved in sandstone below the fortress of Belfort, which during the war had resisted a Prussian siege for over three months. The defiant lion, 73 feet (22 m) long and half that in height, displays an emotional quality characteristic of Romanticism, which Bartholdi would later bring to the Statue of Liberty. [21]

Design, style, and symbolism

Bartholdi and Laboulaye considered how best to express the idea of American liberty. [22] In early American history, two female figures were frequently used as cultural symbols of the nation. [23] One of these symbols, the personified Columbia, was seen as an embodiment of the United States in the manner that Britannia was identified with the United Kingdom, and Marianne came to represent France. Columbia had supplanted the traditional European personification of the Americas as an "Indian princess", which had come to be regarded as uncivilized and derogatory toward Americans. [23] The other significant female icon in American culture was a representation of Liberty, derived from Libertas, the goddess of freedom widely worshipped in ancient Rome, especially among emancipated slaves. A Liberty figure adorned most American coins of the time, [22] and representations of Liberty appeared in popular and civic art, including Thomas Crawford's Statue of Freedom (1863) atop the dome of the United States Capitol Building. [22]

The statue's design evokes iconography evident in ancient history including the Egyptian goddess Isis, the ancient Greek deity of the same name, the Roman Columbia and the Christian iconography of the Virgin Mary. [24] [25]

Artists of the 18th and 19th centuries striving to evoke republican ideals commonly used representations of Libertas as an allegorical symbol. [22] A figure of Liberty was also depicted on the Great Seal of France. [22] However, Bartholdi and Laboulaye avoided an image of revolutionary liberty such as that depicted in Eugène Delacroix's famed Liberty Leading the People (1830). In this painting, which commemorates France's July Revolution, a half-clothed Liberty leads an armed mob over the bodies of the fallen. [23] Laboulaye had no sympathy for revolution, and so Bartholdi's figure would be fully dressed in flowing robes. [23] Instead of the impression of violence in the Delacroix work, Bartholdi wished to give the statue a peaceful appearance and chose a torch, representing progress, for the figure to hold. [26]

Crawford's statue was designed in the early 1850s. It was originally to be crowned with a pileus, the cap given to emancipated slaves in ancient Rome. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, a Southerner who would later serve as President of the Confederate States of America, was concerned that the pileus would be taken as an abolitionist symbol. He ordered that it be changed to a helmet. [27] Delacroix's figure wears a pileus, [23] and Bartholdi at first considered placing one on his figure as well. Instead, he used a diadem, or crown, to top its head. [28] In so doing, he avoided a reference to Marianne, who invariably wears a pileus. [29] The seven rays form a halo or aureole. [30] They evoke the sun, the seven seas, and the seven continents, [31] and represent another means, besides the torch, whereby Liberty enlightens the world. [26]

Bartholdi's early models were all similar in concept: a female figure in neoclassical style representing liberty, wearing a stola and pella (gown and cloak, common in depictions of Roman goddesses) and holding a torch aloft. According to popular accounts, the face was modeled after that of Charlotte Beysser Bartholdi, the sculptor's mother, [32] but Regis Huber, the curator of the Bartholdi Museum is on record as saying that this, as well as other similar speculations, have no basis in fact. [33] He designed the figure with a strong, uncomplicated silhouette, which would be set off well by its dramatic harbor placement and allow passengers on vessels entering New York Bay to experience a changing perspective on the statue as they proceeded toward Manhattan. He gave it bold classical contours and applied simplified modeling, reflecting the huge scale of the project and its solemn purpose. [26] Bartholdi wrote of his technique:

The surfaces should be broad and simple, defined by a bold and clear design, accentuated in the important places. The enlargement of the details or their multiplicity is to be feared. By exaggerating the forms, in order to render them more clearly visible, or by enriching them with details, we would destroy the proportion of the work. Finally, the model, like the design, should have a summarized character, such as one would give to a rapid sketch. Only it is necessary that this character should be the product of volition and study, and that the artist, concentrating his knowledge, should find the form and the line in its greatest simplicity. [34]

Bartholdi made alterations in the design as the project evolved. Bartholdi considered having Liberty hold a broken chain, but decided this would be too divisive in the days after the Civil War. The erected statue does stride over a broken chain, half-hidden by her robes and difficult to see from the ground. [28] Bartholdi was initially uncertain of what to place in Liberty's left hand he settled on a tabula ansata, [35] used to evoke the concept of law. [36] Though Bartholdi greatly admired the United States Constitution, he chose to inscribe JULY IV MDCCLXXVI on the tablet, thus associating the date of the country's Declaration of Independence with the concept of liberty. [35]

Bartholdi interested his friend and mentor, architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, in the project. [33] As chief engineer, [33] Viollet-le-Duc designed a brick pier within the statue, to which the skin would be anchored. [37] After consultations with the metalwork foundry Gaget, Gauthier & Co., Viollet-le-Duc chose the metal which would be used for the skin, copper sheets, and the method used to shape it, repoussé, in which the sheets were heated and then struck with wooden hammers. [33] [38] An advantage of this choice was that the entire statue would be light for its volume, as the copper need be only 0.094 inches (2.4 mm) thick. Bartholdi had decided on a height of just over 151 feet (46 m) for the statue, double that of Italy's Sancarlone and the German statue of Arminius, both made with the same method. [39]

Announcement and early work

By 1875, France was enjoying improved political stability and a recovering postwar economy. Growing interest in the upcoming Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia led Laboulaye to decide it was time to seek public support. [40] In September 1875, he announced the project and the formation of the Franco-American Union as its fundraising arm. With the announcement, the statue was given a name, Liberty Enlightening the World. [41] The French would finance the statue Americans would be expected to pay for the pedestal. [42] The announcement provoked a generally favorable reaction in France, though many Frenchmen resented the United States for not coming to their aid during the war with Prussia. [41] French monarchists opposed the statue, if for no other reason than it was proposed by the liberal Laboulaye, who had recently been elected a senator for life. [42] Laboulaye arranged events designed to appeal to the rich and powerful, including a special performance at the Paris Opera on April 25, 1876, that featured a new cantata by composer Charles Gounod. The piece was titled La Liberté éclairant le monde, the French version of the statue's announced name. [41]

Initially focused on the elites, the Union was successful in raising funds from across French society. Schoolchildren and ordinary citizens gave, as did 181 French municipalities. Laboulaye's political allies supported the call, as did descendants of the French contingent in the American Revolutionary War. Less idealistically, contributions came from those who hoped for American support in the French attempt to build the Panama Canal. The copper may have come from multiple sources and some of it is said to have come from a mine in Visnes, Norway, [43] though this has not been conclusively determined after testing samples. [44] According to Cara Sutherland in her book on the statue for the Museum of the City of New York, 200,000 pounds (91,000 kg) was needed to build the statue, and the French copper industrialist Eugène Secrétan donated 128,000 pounds (58,000 kg) of copper. [45]

Although plans for the statue had not been finalized, Bartholdi moved forward with fabrication of the right arm, bearing the torch, and the head. Work began at the Gaget, Gauthier & Co. workshop. [46] In May 1876, Bartholdi traveled to the United States as a member of a French delegation to the Centennial Exhibition, [47] and arranged for a huge painting of the statue to be shown in New York as part of the Centennial festivities. [48] The arm did not arrive in Philadelphia until August because of its late arrival, it was not listed in the exhibition catalogue, and while some reports correctly identified the work, others called it the "Colossal Arm" or "Bartholdi Electric Light". The exhibition grounds contained a number of monumental artworks to compete for fairgoers' interest, including an outsized fountain designed by Bartholdi. [49] Nevertheless, the arm proved popular in the exhibition's waning days, and visitors would climb up to the balcony of the torch to view the fairgrounds. [50] After the exhibition closed, the arm was transported to New York, where it remained on display in Madison Square Park for several years before it was returned to France to join the rest of the statue. [50]

During his second trip to the United States, Bartholdi addressed a number of groups about the project, and urged the formation of American committees of the Franco-American Union. [51] Committees to raise money to pay for the foundation and pedestal were formed in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. [52] The New York group eventually took on most of the responsibility for American fundraising and is often referred to as the "American Committee". [53] One of its members was 19-year-old Theodore Roosevelt, the future governor of New York and president of the United States. [51] On March 3, 1877, on his final full day in office, President Grant signed a joint resolution that authorized the President to accept the statue when it was presented by France and to select a site for it. President Rutherford B. Hayes, who took office the following day, selected the Bedloe's Island site that Bartholdi had proposed. [54]

Construction in France

On his return to Paris in 1877, Bartholdi concentrated on completing the head, which was exhibited at the 1878 Paris World's Fair. Fundraising continued, with models of the statue put on sale. Tickets to view the construction activity at the Gaget, Gauthier & Co. workshop were also offered. [55] The French government authorized a lottery among the prizes were valuable silver plate and a terracotta model of the statue. By the end of 1879, about 250,000 francs had been raised. [56]

The head and arm had been built with assistance from Viollet-le-Duc, who fell ill in 1879. He soon died, leaving no indication of how he intended to transition from the copper skin to his proposed masonry pier. [57] The following year, Bartholdi was able to obtain the services of the innovative designer and builder Gustave Eiffel. [55] Eiffel and his structural engineer, Maurice Koechlin, decided to abandon the pier and instead build an iron truss tower. Eiffel opted not to use a completely rigid structure, which would force stresses to accumulate in the skin and lead eventually to cracking. A secondary skeleton was attached to the center pylon, then, to enable the statue to move slightly in the winds of New York Harbor and as the metal expanded on hot summer days, he loosely connected the support structure to the skin using flat iron bars [33] which culminated in a mesh of metal straps, known as "saddles", that were riveted to the skin, providing firm support. In a labor-intensive process, each saddle had to be crafted individually. [58] [59] To prevent galvanic corrosion between the copper skin and the iron support structure, Eiffel insulated the skin with asbestos impregnated with shellac. [60]

Eiffel's design made the statue one of the earliest examples of curtain wall construction, in which the exterior of the structure is not load bearing, but is instead supported by an interior framework. He included two interior spiral staircases, to make it easier for visitors to reach the observation point in the crown. [61] Access to an observation platform surrounding the torch was also provided, but the narrowness of the arm allowed for only a single ladder, 40 feet (12 m) long. [62] As the pylon tower arose, Eiffel and Bartholdi coordinated their work carefully so that completed segments of skin would fit exactly on the support structure. [63] The components of the pylon tower were built in the Eiffel factory in the nearby Parisian suburb of Levallois-Perret. [64]

The change in structural material from masonry to iron allowed Bartholdi to change his plans for the statue's assembly. He had originally expected to assemble the skin on-site as the masonry pier was built instead, he decided to build the statue in France and have it disassembled and transported to the United States for reassembly in place on Bedloe's Island. [65]

In a symbolic act, the first rivet placed into the skin, fixing a copper plate onto the statue's big toe, was driven by United States Ambassador to France Levi P. Morton. [66] The skin was not, however, crafted in exact sequence from low to high work proceeded on a number of segments simultaneously in a manner often confusing to visitors. [67] Some work was performed by contractors—one of the fingers was made to Bartholdi's exacting specifications by a coppersmith in the southern French town of Montauban. [68] By 1882, the statue was complete up to the waist, an event Barthodi celebrated by inviting reporters to lunch on a platform built within the statue. [69] Laboulaye died in 1883. He was succeeded as chairman of the French committee by Ferdinand de Lesseps, builder of the Suez Canal. The completed statue was formally presented to Ambassador Morton at a ceremony in Paris on July 4, 1884, and de Lesseps announced that the French government had agreed to pay for its transport to New York. [70] The statue remained intact in Paris pending sufficient progress on the pedestal by January 1885, this had occurred and the statue was disassembled and crated for its ocean voyage. [71]

The committees in the United States faced great difficulties in obtaining funds for the construction of the pedestal. The Panic of 1873 had led to an economic depression that persisted through much of the decade. The Liberty statue project was not the only such undertaking that had difficulty raising money: construction of the obelisk later known as the Washington Monument sometimes stalled for years it would ultimately take over three-and-a-half decades to complete. [72] There was criticism both of Bartholdi's statue and of the fact that the gift required Americans to foot the bill for the pedestal. In the years following the Civil War, most Americans preferred realistic artworks depicting heroes and events from the nation's history, rather than allegorical works like the Liberty statue. [72] There was also a feeling that Americans should design American public works—the selection of Italian-born Constantino Brumidi to decorate the Capitol had provoked intense criticism, even though he was a naturalized U.S. citizen. [73] Harper's Weekly declared its wish that "M. Bartholdi and our French cousins had 'gone the whole figure' while they were about it, and given us statue and pedestal at once." [74] The New York Times stated that "no true patriot can countenance any such expenditures for bronze females in the present state of our finances." [75] Faced with these criticisms, the American committees took little action for several years. [75]

Design

The foundation of Bartholdi's statue was to be laid inside Fort Wood, a disused army base on Bedloe's Island constructed between 1807 and 1811. Since 1823, it had rarely been used, though during the Civil War, it had served as a recruiting station. [76] The fortifications of the structure were in the shape of an eleven-point star. The statue's foundation and pedestal were aligned so that it would face southeast, greeting ships entering the harbor from the Atlantic Ocean. [77] In 1881, the New York committee commissioned Richard Morris Hunt to design the pedestal. Within months, Hunt submitted a detailed plan, indicating that he expected construction to take about nine months. [78] He proposed a pedestal 114 feet (35 m) in height faced with money problems, the committee reduced that to 89 feet (27 m). [79]

Hunt's pedestal design contains elements of classical architecture, including Doric portals, as well as some elements influenced by Aztec architecture. [33] The large mass is fragmented with architectural detail, in order to focus attention on the statue. [79] In form, it is a truncated pyramid, 62 feet (19 m) square at the base and 39.4 feet (12.0 m) at the top. The four sides are identical in appearance. Above the door on each side, there are ten disks upon which Bartholdi proposed to place the coats of arms of the states (between 1876 and 1889, there were 38 U.S. states), although this was not done. Above that, a balcony was placed on each side, framed by pillars. Bartholdi placed an observation platform near the top of the pedestal, above which the statue itself rises. [80] According to author Louis Auchincloss, the pedestal "craggily evokes the power of an ancient Europe over which rises the dominating figure of the Statue of Liberty". [79] The committee hired former army General Charles Pomeroy Stone to oversee the construction work. [81] Construction on the 15-foot-deep (4.6 m) foundation began in 1883, and the pedestal's cornerstone was laid in 1884. [78] In Hunt's original conception, the pedestal was to have been made of solid granite. Financial concerns again forced him to revise his plans the final design called for poured concrete walls, up to 20 feet (6.1 m) thick, faced with granite blocks. [82] [83] This Stony Creek granite came from the Beattie Quarry in Branford, Connecticut. [84] The concrete mass was the largest poured to that time. [83]

Norwegian immigrant civil engineer Joachim Goschen Giæver designed the structural framework for the Statue of Liberty. His work involved design computations, detailed fabrication and construction drawings, and oversight of construction. In completing his engineering for the statue's frame, Giæver worked from drawings and sketches produced by Gustave Eiffel. [85]

Fundraising

Fundraising in the US for the pedestal had begun in 1882. The committee organized a large number of money-raising events. [86] As part of one such effort, an auction of art and manuscripts, poet Emma Lazarus was asked to donate an original work. She initially declined, stating she could not write a poem about a statue. At the time, she was also involved in aiding refugees to New York who had fled Anti-Semitic pogroms in eastern Europe. These refugees were forced to live in conditions that the wealthy Lazarus had never experienced. She saw a way to express her empathy for these refugees in terms of the statue. [87] The resulting sonnet, "The New Colossus", including the lines: "Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free", is uniquely identified with the Statue of Liberty in American culture and is inscribed on a plaque in its museum. [88]

Even with these efforts, fundraising lagged. Grover Cleveland, the governor of New York, vetoed a bill to provide $50,000 for the statue project in 1884. An attempt the next year to have Congress provide $100,000, sufficient to complete the project, also failed. The New York committee, with only $3,000 in the bank, suspended work on the pedestal. With the project in jeopardy, groups from other American cities, including Boston and Philadelphia, offered to pay the full cost of erecting the statue in return for relocating it. [89]

Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World, a New York newspaper, announced a drive to raise $100,000—the equivalent of $2.3 million today. [90] Pulitzer pledged to print the name of every contributor, no matter how small the amount given. [91] The drive captured the imagination of New Yorkers, especially when Pulitzer began publishing the notes he received from contributors. "A young girl alone in the world" donated "60 cents, the result of self denial." [92] One donor gave "five cents as a poor office boy's mite toward the Pedestal Fund." A group of children sent a dollar as "the money we saved to go to the circus with." [93] Another dollar was given by a "lonely and very aged woman." [92] Residents of a home for alcoholics in New York's rival city of Brooklyn—the cities would not merge until 1898—donated $15 other drinkers helped out through donation boxes in bars and saloons. [94] A kindergarten class in Davenport, Iowa, mailed the World a gift of $1.35. [92] As the donations flooded in, the committee resumed work on the pedestal. [95]

Construction

On June 17, 1885, the French steamer Isère [fr] arrived in New York with the crates holding the disassembled statue on board. New Yorkers displayed their new-found enthusiasm for the statue. Two hundred thousand people lined the docks and hundreds of boats put to sea to welcome the ship. [96] [97] After five months of daily calls to donate to the statue fund, on August 11, 1885, the World announced that $102,000 had been raised from 120,000 donors, and that 80 percent of the total had been received in sums of less than one dollar. [98]

Even with the success of the fund drive, the pedestal was not completed until April 1886. Immediately thereafter, reassembly of the statue began. Eiffel's iron framework was anchored to steel I-beams within the concrete pedestal and assembled. [99] Once this was done, the sections of skin were carefully attached. [100] Due to the width of the pedestal, it was not possible to erect scaffolding, and workers dangled from ropes while installing the skin sections. [101] Bartholdi had planned to put floodlights on the torch's balcony to illuminate it a week before the dedication, the Army Corps of Engineers vetoed the proposal, fearing that ships' pilots passing the statue would be blinded. Instead, Bartholdi cut portholes in the torch—which was covered with gold leaf—and placed the lights inside them. [102] A power plant was installed on the island to light the torch and for other electrical needs. [103] After the skin was completed, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, co-designer of Manhattan's Central Park and Brooklyn's Prospect Park, supervised a cleanup of Bedloe's Island in anticipation of the dedication. [104] General Charles Stone claimed on the day of dedication that no man had died during the construction of the statue. This was not true, however, as Francis Longo, a thirty-nine year old Italian laborer, had been killed when an old wall fell on him. [105]

Dedication

A ceremony of dedication was held on the afternoon of October 28, 1886. President Grover Cleveland, the former New York governor, presided over the event. [106] On the morning of the dedication, a parade was held in New York City estimates of the number of people who watched it ranged from several hundred thousand to a million. President Cleveland headed the procession, then stood in the reviewing stand to see bands and marchers from across America. General Stone was the grand marshal of the parade. The route began at Madison Square, once the venue for the arm, and proceeded to the Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan by way of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, with a slight detour so the parade could pass in front of the World building on Park Row. As the parade passed the New York Stock Exchange, traders threw ticker tape from the windows, beginning the New York tradition of the ticker-tape parade. [107]

A nautical parade began at 12:45 p.m., and President Cleveland embarked on a yacht that took him across the harbor to Bedloe's Island for the dedication. [108] De Lesseps made the first speech, on behalf of the French committee, followed by the chairman of the New York committee, Senator William M. Evarts. A French flag draped across the statue's face was to be lowered to unveil the statue at the close of Evarts's speech, but Bartholdi mistook a pause as the conclusion and let the flag fall prematurely. The ensuing cheers put an end to Evarts's address. [107] President Cleveland spoke next, stating that the statue's "stream of light shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and man's oppression until Liberty enlightens the world". [109] Bartholdi, observed near the dais, was called upon to speak, but he declined. Orator Chauncey M. Depew concluded the speechmaking with a lengthy address. [110]

No members of the general public were permitted on the island during the ceremonies, which were reserved entirely for dignitaries. The only females granted access were Bartholdi's wife and de Lesseps's granddaughter officials stated that they feared women might be injured in the crush of people. The restriction offended area suffragists, who chartered a boat and got as close as they could to the island. The group's leaders made speeches applauding the embodiment of Liberty as a woman and advocating women's right to vote. [109] A scheduled fireworks display was postponed until November 1 because of poor weather. [111]

Shortly after the dedication, The Cleveland Gazette, an African American newspaper, suggested that the statue's torch not be lit until the United States became a free nation "in reality":

"Liberty enlightening the world," indeed! The expression makes us sick. This government is a howling farce. It can not or rather does not protect its citizens within its own borders. Shove the Bartholdi statue, torch and all, into the ocean until the "liberty" of this country is such as to make it possible for an inoffensive and industrious colored man to earn a respectable living for himself and family, without being ku-kluxed, perhaps murdered, his daughter and wife outraged, and his property destroyed. The idea of the "liberty" of this country "enlightening the world," or even Patagonia, is ridiculous in the extreme. [112]

Lighthouse Board and War Department (1886–1933)

When the torch was illuminated on the evening of the statue's dedication, it produced only a faint gleam, barely visible from Manhattan. The World characterized it as "more like a glowworm than a beacon." [103] Bartholdi suggested gilding the statue to increase its ability to reflect light, but this proved too expensive. The United States Lighthouse Board took over the Statue of Liberty in 1887 and pledged to install equipment to enhance the torch's effect in spite of its efforts, the statue remained virtually invisible at night. When Bartholdi returned to the United States in 1893, he made additional suggestions, all of which proved ineffective. He did successfully lobby for improved lighting within the statue, allowing visitors to better appreciate Eiffel's design. [103] In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt, once a member of the New York committee, ordered the statue's transfer to the War Department, as it had proved useless as a lighthouse. [113] A unit of the Army Signal Corps was stationed on Bedloe's Island until 1923, after which military police remained there while the island was under military jurisdiction. [114]

Wars and other upheavals in Europe prompted large-scale emigration to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century many entered through New York and saw the statue not as a symbol of enlightenment, as Bartholdi had intended, but as a sign of welcome to their new home. The association with immigration only became stronger when an immigrant processing station was opened on nearby Ellis Island. This view was consistent with Lazarus's vision in her sonnet—she described the statue as "Mother of Exiles"—but her work had become obscure. In 1903, the sonnet was engraved on a plaque that was affixed to the base of the statue. [115]

Oral histories of immigrants record their feelings of exhilaration on first viewing the Statue of Liberty. One immigrant who arrived from Greece recalled:

I saw the Statue of Liberty. And I said to myself, "Lady, you're such a beautiful! [sic] You opened your arms and you get all the foreigners here. Give me a chance to prove that I am worth it, to do something, to be someone in America." And always that statue was on my mind. [116]

The statue rapidly became a landmark. [116] Originally, it was a dull copper color, but shortly after 1900 a green patina, also called verdigris, caused by the oxidation of the copper skin, began to spread. As early as 1902 it was mentioned in the press by 1906 it had entirely covered the statue. [117] Believing that the patina was evidence of corrosion, Congress authorized US$62,800 (equivalent to $1,809,000 in 2020) for various repairs, and to paint the statue both inside and out. [118] There was considerable public protest against the proposed exterior painting. [119] The Army Corps of Engineers studied the patina for any ill effects to the statue and concluded that it protected the skin, "softened the outlines of the Statue and made it beautiful." [120] The statue was painted only on the inside. The Corps of Engineers also installed an elevator to take visitors from the base to the top of the pedestal. [120]

On July 30, 1916, during World War I, German saboteurs set off a disastrous explosion on the Black Tom peninsula in Jersey City, New Jersey, in what is now part of Liberty State Park, close to Bedloe's Island. Carloads of dynamite and other explosives that were being sent to Britain and France for their war efforts were detonated. The statue sustained minor damage, mostly to the torch-bearing right arm, and was closed for ten days. The cost to repair the statue and buildings on the island was about $100,000 (equivalent to about $2,380,000 in 2020). The narrow ascent to the torch was closed for public-safety reasons, and it has remained closed ever since. [110]

That same year, Ralph Pulitzer, who had succeeded his father Joseph as publisher of the World, began a drive to raise $30,000 (equivalent to $713,000 in 2020) for an exterior lighting system to illuminate the statue at night. He claimed over 80,000 contributors, but failed to reach the goal. The difference was quietly made up by a gift from a wealthy donor—a fact that was not revealed until 1936. An underwater power cable brought electricity from the mainland and floodlights were placed along the walls of Fort Wood. Gutzon Borglum, who later sculpted Mount Rushmore, redesigned the torch, replacing much of the original copper with stained glass. On December 2, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson pressed the telegraph key that turned on the lights, successfully illuminating the statue. [121]

After the United States entered World War I in 1917, images of the statue were heavily used in both recruitment posters and the Liberty bond drives that urged American citizens to support the war financially. This impressed upon the public the war's stated purpose—to secure liberty—and served as a reminder that embattled France had given the United States the statue. [122]

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge used his authority under the Antiquities Act to declare the statue a national monument. [113] A suicide occurred five years later when a man climbed out of one of the windows in the crown and jumped to his death. [123]

Early National Park Service years (1933–1982)

In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the statue to be transferred to the National Park Service (NPS). In 1937, the NPS gained jurisdiction over the rest of Bedloe's Island. [113] With the Army's departure, the NPS began to transform the island into a park. [124] The Works Progress Administration (WPA) demolished most of the old buildings, regraded and reseeded the eastern end of the island, and built granite steps for a new public entrance to the statue from its rear. The WPA also carried out restoration work within the statue, temporarily removing the rays from the statue's halo so their rusted supports could be replaced. Rusted cast-iron steps in the pedestal were replaced with new ones made of reinforced concrete [125] the upper parts of the stairways within the statue were replaced, as well. Copper sheathing was installed to prevent further damage from rainwater that had been seeping into the pedestal. [126] The statue was closed to the public from May until December 1938. [125]

During World War II, the statue remained open to visitors, although it was not illuminated at night due to wartime blackouts. It was lit briefly on December 31, 1943, and on D-Day, June 6, 1944, when its lights flashed "dot-dot-dot-dash", the Morse code for V, for victory. New, powerful lighting was installed in 1944–1945, and beginning on V-E Day, the statue was once again illuminated after sunset. The lighting was for only a few hours each evening, and it was not until 1957 that the statue was illuminated every night, all night. [127] In 1946, the interior of the statue within reach of visitors was coated with a special plastic so that graffiti could be washed away. [126]

In 1956, an Act of Congress officially renamed Bedloe's Island as Liberty Island, a change advocated by Bartholdi generations earlier. The act also mentioned the efforts to found an American Museum of Immigration on the island, which backers took as federal approval of the project, though the government was slow to grant funds for it. [128] Nearby Ellis Island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument by proclamation of President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. [113] In 1972, the immigration museum, in the statue's base, was finally opened in a ceremony led by President Richard Nixon. The museum's backers never provided it with an endowment to secure its future and it closed in 1991 after the opening of an immigration museum on Ellis Island. [99]

In 1970, Ivy Bottini led a demonstration at the statue where she and others from the National Organization for Women's New York chapter draped an enormous banner over a railing which read "WOMEN OF THE WORLD UNITE!" [129] [130]

Beginning December 26, 1971, 15 anti-Vietnam War veterans occupied the statue, flying a US flag upside down from her crown. They left December 28 following a federal court order. [131] The statue was also several times taken over briefly by demonstrators publicizing causes such as Puerto Rican independence, opposition to abortion, and opposition to US intervention in Grenada. Demonstrations with the permission of the Park Service included a Gay Pride Parade rally and the annual Captive Baltic Nations rally. [132]

A powerful new lighting system was installed in advance of the American Bicentennial in 1976. The statue was the focal point for Operation Sail, a regatta of tall ships from all over the world that entered New York Harbor on July 4, 1976, and sailed around Liberty Island. [133] The day concluded with a spectacular display of fireworks near the statue. [134]

Renovation and rededication (1982–2000)

The statue was examined in great detail by French and American engineers as part of the planning for its centennial in 1986. [135] In 1982, it was announced that the statue was in need of considerable restoration. Careful study had revealed that the right arm had been improperly attached to the main structure. It was swaying more and more when strong winds blew and there was a significant risk of structural failure. In addition, the head had been installed 2 feet (0.61 m) off center, and one of the rays was wearing a hole in the right arm when the statue moved in the wind. The armature structure was badly corroded, and about two percent of the exterior plates needed to be replaced. [136] Although problems with the armature had been recognized as early as 1936, when cast iron replacements for some of the bars had been installed, much of the corrosion had been hidden by layers of paint applied over the years. [137]

In May 1982, President Ronald Reagan announced the formation of the Statue of Liberty–Ellis Island Centennial Commission, led by Chrysler Corporation chair Lee Iacocca, to raise the funds needed to complete the work. [138] [139] [140] Through its fundraising arm, the Statue of Liberty–Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., the group raised more than $350 million in donations for the renovations of both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. [141] The Statue of Liberty was one of the earliest beneficiaries of a cause marketing campaign. A 1983 promotion advertised that for each purchase made with an American Express card, the company would contribute one cent to the renovation of the statue. The campaign generated contributions of $1.7 million to the restoration project. [142]

In 1984, the statue was closed to the public for the duration of the renovation. Workers erected the world's largest free-standing scaffold, [33] which obscured the statue from view. Liquid nitrogen was used to remove layers of paint that had been applied to the interior of the copper skin over decades, leaving two layers of coal tar, originally applied to plug leaks and prevent corrosion. Blasting with baking soda powder removed the tar without further damaging the copper. [143] The restorers' work was hampered by the asbestos-based substance that Bartholdi had used—ineffectively, as inspections showed—to prevent galvanic corrosion. Workers within the statue had to wear protective gear, dubbed "Moon suits", with self-contained breathing circuits. [144] Larger holes in the copper skin were repaired, and new copper was added where necessary. [145] The replacement skin was taken from a copper rooftop at Bell Labs, which had a patina that closely resembled the statue's in exchange, the laboratory was provided some of the old copper skin for testing. [146] The torch, found to have been leaking water since the 1916 alterations, was replaced with an exact replica of Bartholdi's unaltered torch. [147] Consideration was given to replacing the arm and shoulder the National Park Service insisted that they be repaired instead. [148] The original torch was removed and replaced in 1986 with the current one, whose flame is covered in 24-karat gold. [36] The torch reflects the Sun's rays in daytime and is lighted by floodlights at night. [36]

The entire puddled iron armature designed by Gustave Eiffel was replaced. Low-carbon corrosion-resistant stainless steel bars that now hold the staples next to the skin are made of Ferralium, an alloy that bends slightly and returns to its original shape as the statue moves. [149] To prevent the ray and arm making contact, the ray was realigned by several degrees. [150] The lighting was again replaced—night-time illumination subsequently came from metal-halide lamps that send beams of light to particular parts of the pedestal or statue, showing off various details. [151] Access to the pedestal, which had been through a nondescript entrance built in the 1960s, was renovated to create a wide opening framed by a set of monumental bronze doors with designs symbolic of the renovation. [152] A modern elevator was installed, allowing handicapped access to the observation area of the pedestal. [153] An emergency elevator was installed within the statue, reaching up to the level of the shoulder. [154]

July 3–6, 1986, was designated "Liberty Weekend", marking the centennial of the statue and its reopening. President Reagan presided over the rededication, with French President François Mitterrand in attendance. July 4 saw a reprise of Operation Sail, [155] and the statue was reopened to the public on July 5. [156] In Reagan's dedication speech, he stated, "We are the keepers of the flame of liberty we hold it high for the world to see." [155]

Closures and reopenings (2001–present)

Immediately following the September 11 attacks, the statue and Liberty Island were closed to the public. The island reopened at the end of 2001, while the pedestal and statue remained off-limits. The pedestal reopened in August 2004, [156] but the National Park Service announced that visitors could not safely be given access to the statue due to the difficulty of evacuation in an emergency. The Park Service adhered to that position through the remainder of the Bush administration. [157] New York Congressman Anthony Weiner made the statue's reopening a personal crusade. [158] On May 17, 2009, President Barack Obama's Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, announced that as a "special gift" to America, the statue would be reopened to the public as of July 4, but that only a limited number of people would be permitted to ascend to the crown each day. [157]

The statue, including the pedestal and base, closed on October 29, 2011, for installation of new elevators and staircases and to bring other facilities, such as restrooms, up to code. The statue was reopened on October 28, 2012, [1] [159] [160] but then closed again a day later in advance of Hurricane Sandy. [161] Although the storm did not harm the statue, it destroyed some of the infrastructure on both Liberty and Ellis Islands, including the dock used by the ferries that ran to Liberty and Ellis Islands. On November 8, 2012, a Park Service spokesperson announced that both islands would remain closed for an indefinite period for repairs to be done. [162] Since Liberty Island had no electricity, a generator was installed to power temporary floodlights to illuminate the statue at night. The superintendent of Statue of Liberty National Monument, David Luchsinger—whose home on the island was severely damaged—stated that it would be "optimistically . months" before the island was reopened to the public. [163] The statue and Liberty Island reopened to the public on July 4, 2013. [164] Ellis Island remained closed for repairs for several more months but reopened in late October 2013. [165]

The Statue of Liberty has also been closed due to government shutdowns and protests, as well as for disease pandemics. During the October 2013 United States federal government shutdown, Liberty Island and other federally funded sites were closed. [166] In addition, Liberty Island was briefly closed on July 4, 2018, after a woman protesting against American immigration policy climbed onto the statue. [167] However, the island remained open during the 2018–19 United States federal government shutdown because the Statue of Liberty–Ellis Island Foundation had donated funds. [168] It closed beginning on March 16, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [169] On July 20, 2020, the Statue of Liberty reopened partially under New York City's Phase IV guidelines, with Ellis Island remaining closed. [170] [171]

On October 7, 2016, construction started on the new Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island. [172] The new $70 million, 26,000-square-foot (2,400 m 2 ) museum may be visited by all who come to the island, [173] as opposed to the museum in the pedestal, which only 20% of the island's visitors had access to. [172] The new museum, designed by FXFOWLE Architects, is integrated with the surrounding parkland. [174] [175] Diane von Fürstenberg headed the fundraising for the museum, and the project received over $40 million in fundraising by groundbreaking. [174] The museum opened on May 16, 2019. [176] [177]

Location and access

The statue is situated in Upper New York Bay on Liberty Island south of Ellis Island, which together comprise the Statue of Liberty National Monument. Both islands were ceded by New York to the federal government in 1800. [178] As agreed in an 1834 compact between New York and New Jersey that set the state border at the bay's midpoint, the original islands remain New York territory though located on the New Jersey side of the state line. Liberty Island is one of the islands that are part of the borough of Manhattan in New York. Land created by reclamation added to the 2.3-acre (0.93 ha) original island at Ellis Island is New Jersey territory. [179]

No charge is made for entrance to the national monument, but there is a cost for the ferry service that all visitors must use, [180] as private boats may not dock at the island. A concession was granted in 2007 to Statue Cruises to operate the transportation and ticketing facilities, replacing Circle Line, which had operated the service since 1953. [181] The ferries, which depart from Liberty State Park in Jersey City and the Battery in Lower Manhattan, also stop at Ellis Island when it is open to the public, making a combined trip possible. [182] All ferry riders are subject to security screening, similar to airport procedures, prior to boarding. [183]

Visitors intending to enter the statue's base and pedestal must obtain a complimentary museum/pedestal ticket along with their ferry ticket. [180] [184] Those wishing to climb the staircase within the statue to the crown purchase a special ticket, which may be reserved up to a year in advance. A total of 240 people per day are permitted to ascend: ten per group, three groups per hour. Climbers may bring only medication and cameras—lockers are provided for other items—and must undergo a second security screening. [185]

Inscriptions, plaques, and dedications

There are several plaques and dedicatory tablets on or near the Statue of Liberty.

  • A plaque on the copper just under the figure in front declares that it is a colossal statue representing Liberty, designed by Bartholdi and built by the Paris firm of Gaget, Gauthier et Cie (Cie is the French abbreviation analogous to Co.). [186]
  • A presentation tablet, also bearing Bartholdi's name, declares the statue is a gift from the people of the Republic of France that honors "the Alliance of the two Nations in achieving the Independence of the United States of America and attests their abiding friendship." [186]
  • A tablet placed by the American Committee commemorates the fundraising done to build the pedestal. [186]
  • The cornerstone bears a plaque placed by the Freemasons. [186]
  • In 1903, a bronze tablet that bears the text of Emma Lazarus's sonnet, "The New Colossus" (1883), was presented by friends of the poet. Until the 1986 renovation, it was mounted inside the pedestal later, it resided in the Statue of Liberty Museum, in the base. [186]
  • "The New Colossus" tablet is accompanied by a tablet given by the Emma Lazarus Commemorative Committee in 1977, celebrating the poet's life. [186]

A group of statues stands at the western end of the island, honoring those closely associated with the Statue of Liberty. Two Americans—Pulitzer and Lazarus—and three Frenchmen—Bartholdi, Eiffel, and Laboulaye—are depicted. They are the work of Maryland sculptor Phillip Ratner. [187]

President Calvin Coolidge officially designated the Statue of Liberty as part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1924. [3] [188] The monument was expanded to also include Ellis Island in 1965. [189] [190] The following year, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island were jointly added to the National Register of Historic Places, [191] and the statue individually in 2017. [5] On the sub-national level, the Statue of Liberty National Monument was added to the New Jersey Register of Historic Places in 1971, [6] and was made a New York City designated landmark in 1976. [7]

In 1984, the Statue of Liberty was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The UNESCO "Statement of Significance" describes the statue as a "masterpiece of the human spirit" that "endures as a highly potent symbol—inspiring contemplation, debate and protest—of ideals such as liberty, peace, human rights, abolition of slavery, democracy and opportunity." [192]

Feature [77] Imperial Metric
Height of copper statue 151 ft 1 in 46 m
Foundation of pedestal (ground level) to tip of torch 305 ft 1 in 93 m
Heel to top of head 111 ft 1 in 34 m
Height of hand 16 ft 5 in 5 m
Index finger 8 ft 1 in 2.44 m
Circumference at second joint 3 ft 6 in 1.07 m
Head from chin to cranium 17 ft 3 in 5.26 m
Head thickness from ear to ear 10 ft 0 in 3.05 m
Distance across the eye 2 ft 6 in 0.76 m
Length of nose 4 ft 6 in 1.48 m
Right arm length 42 ft 0 in 12.8 m
Right arm greatest thickness 12 ft 0 in 3.66 m
Thickness of waist 35 ft 0 in 10.67 m
Width of mouth 3 ft 0 in 0.91 m
Tablet, length 23 ft 7 in 7.19 m
Tablet, width 13 ft 7 in 4.14 m
Tablet, thickness 2 ft 0 in 0.61 m
Height of pedestal 89 ft 0 in 27.13 m
Height of foundation 65 ft 0 in 19.81 m
Weight of copper used in statue 60,000 pounds 27.22 tonnes
Weight of steel used in statue 250,000 pounds 113.4 tonnes
Total weight of statue 450,000 pounds 204.1 tonnes
Thickness of copper sheeting 3/32 of an inch 2.4 mm

Hundreds of replicas of the Statue of Liberty are displayed worldwide. [193] A smaller version of the statue, one-fourth the height of the original, was given by the American community in Paris to that city. It now stands on the Île aux Cygnes, facing west toward her larger sister. [193] A replica 30 feet (9.1 m) tall stood atop the Liberty Warehouse on West 64th Street in Manhattan for many years [193] it now resides at the Brooklyn Museum. [194] In a patriotic tribute, the Boy Scouts of America, as part of their Strengthen the Arm of Liberty campaign in 1949–1952, donated about two hundred replicas of the statue, made of stamped copper and 100 inches (2.5 m) in height, to states and municipalities across the United States. [195] Though not a true replica, the statue known as the Goddess of Democracy temporarily erected during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 was similarly inspired by French democratic traditions—the sculptors took care to avoid a direct imitation of the Statue of Liberty. [196] Among other recreations of New York City structures, a replica of the statue is part of the exterior of the New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. [197]

As an American icon, the Statue of Liberty has been depicted on the country's coinage and stamps. It appeared on commemorative coins issued to mark its 1986 centennial, and on New York's 2001 entry in the state quarters series. [198] An image of the statue was chosen for the American Eagle platinum bullion coins in 1997, and it was placed on the reverse, or tails, side of the Presidential Dollar series of circulating coins. [31] Two images of the statue's torch appear on the current ten-dollar bill. [199] The statue's intended photographic depiction on a 2010 forever stamp proved instead to be of the replica at the Las Vegas casino. [200]

Depictions of the statue have been used by many regional institutions. Between 1986 [201] and 2000, [202] New York State issued license plates with an outline of the statue. [201] [202] The Women's National Basketball Association's New York Liberty use both the statue's name and its image in their logo, in which the torch's flame doubles as a basketball. [203] The New York Rangers of the National Hockey League depicted the statue's head on their third jersey, beginning in 1997. [204] The National Collegiate Athletic Association's 1996 Men's Basketball Final Four, played at New Jersey's Meadowlands Sports Complex, featured the statue in its logo. [205] The Libertarian Party of the United States uses the statue in its emblem. [206]

The statue is a frequent subject in popular culture. In music, it has been evoked to indicate support for American policies, as in Toby Keith's song "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)", and in opposition, appearing on the cover of the Dead Kennedys' album Bedtime for Democracy, which protested the Reagan administration. [207] In film, the torch is the setting for the climax of director Alfred Hitchcock's 1942 movie Saboteur. [208] The statue makes one of its most famous cinematic appearances in the 1968 picture Planet of the Apes, in which it is seen half-buried in sand. [207] [209] It is knocked over in the science-fiction film Independence Day [210] and in Cloverfield the head is ripped off. [211] In Jack Finney's time-travel novel Time and Again, the right arm of the statue, on display in the early 1880s in Madison Square Park, plays a crucial role. [212] Robert Holdstock, consulting editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, wondered in 1979:

Where would science fiction be without the Statue of Liberty? For decades it has towered or crumbled above the wastelands of deserted Earth—giants have uprooted it, aliens have found it curious . the symbol of Liberty, of optimism, has become a symbol of science fiction's pessimistic view of the future. [213]

A replica of the Statue of Liberty forms part of the exterior decor at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip


A Brief History of the Statue of Liberty

Learn the story, history and symbolism behind New York City’s most iconic monument, the Statue of Liberty.

Lady Liberty found her home in the waters of New York Bay on Liberty Island in 1886, and quickly became an international beacon of hope to more than 9 million immigrants in the 19th century. A centennial gift to the United States from France, the Statue of Liberty was originally the brainchild of poet and antislavery activist Édouard de Laboulaye. Laboulaye believed that celebrating America’s newfound democracy after the Civil War, as well as the abolition of slavery, could also strengthen France’s democratic ideals.

Young French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who had already been experimenting in large-scale works, eagerly supported Laboulaye’s idea of a statue and began drawing up designs. The final version of his design was patented in 1879, and construction began soon thereafter. Bartholdi’s design was colossal – bigger, in fact, than any other sculpture in the world at that time. Eventually Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the Eiffel Tower, proceeded to design the statue’s skeletal framework. Eiffel’s structural-engineering expertise was paramount to keeping the statue upright and secure the iron interior would bear the enormous weight of 450,000 pounds (200,000 kilograms) while still allowing the 100 US tons of exterior copper to move independently.

Constructing the statue wasn’t an easy feat, and not only due to its size. The United States was responsible for building and funding the 89-foot (27-meter) stone pedestal, while France focused on the statue itself, as well as shipping the sculpture in 350 pieces across the Atlantic Ocean. Both countries had funding issues, so they turned to the public for help, eventually receiving construction funds through art events, auctions, donations and public fees. Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of The World in New York City, played an important role in persuading the American public to contribute to the project. In exchange for monetary donations for the pedestal, Pulitzer printed donors’ names in his newspaper, resulting in what is now considered to be the United States’ first-ever crowdfunding campaign. And it proved successful.

Named after the Roman goddess Libertas, the robed lady’s full name is Liberty Enlightening the World. Made from iron, steel and 300 layers of hand-hammered copper, she stands approximately 111 feet (34 meters) tall, but if you measure the foundation, pedestal and torch, her full height is 305 feet (93 meters). Her right hand extends upwards to hold a 24-carat-gold gilded torch, and on her head sits a seven-pointed crown, symbolizing the seven continents and seven seas. At her feet lie broken shackles, which represent a woman free from oppression and tyranny. Her signature sea green color, also known as a patina, is the result of the natural weathering of copper, which covers the entirety of her exterior.

The base of her pedestal contains a bronze plaque inscribed with a sonnet by American poet Emma Lazarus, containing the now famous lines “Give me your tired, your poor / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” This has come to represent not only Lady Liberty herself but the original essence of America. Today, the statue is visited by approximately 4 million people each year.


Not exactly a walk in the park: A Liberty State Park timeline from 1958 to today

Here’s a look at just some of the milestone moments in Liberty State Park’s history:

Sign in Liberty State Park commemorating the 50th anniversary of Morris Pesin's legendary canoe ride from Jersey City to the Statue of Liberty, June 14, 2008. Jersey Journal file photo by Byron Smith

Jersey City Commissioner (precursor to today’s council) Morris Pesin and Jersey Journal reporter Tom Durkin set out in a canoe from the Jersey City shoreline. Their 2,000-foot, 8-minute journey to Liberty Island dramatizes the proximity of the Statue of Liberty to what Pesin envisioned as a new park.

The passage of the state Green Acres Bond Act and the interest of New Jersey’s first Department of Environmental Protection commissioner lead to the state securing $3 million to buy the land from the railroads.

The famed "Leave the gun, take the cannoli'' scene from the original "Godfather'' movie was filmed in an area that would later become part of Liberty State Park.

Future park land is featured in the original “Godfather’' movie, in the famed “Leave the gun, take the cannoli’' scene.

A photographer commissioned by the federal Environmental Protection Agency takes pictures of illegal dumping in areas that would become part of the park as part of a project to document areas in need of cleanup.

Liberty State Park is dedicated on Flag Day as New Jersey’s bicentennial gift to the nation.

The park’s then 35 acres of picnic areas and lawn see some 30,000 visitors to watch Operation Sail and fireworks on America’s 200th birthday.

Developer Warner LeRoy proposes turning the whole of Liberty State Park into a theme park. Gov. Brendan Byrne scraps the idea after massive community opposition.

The governor’s Liberty State Park Study and Planning Commission and its commissioned Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team issue reports envisioning what the park could become.

The restored historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal reopens to the public for the first time since the last train departed in 1967.

Frank Caplan of Princeton, a friend of Gov. Brendan Byrne, submits plans to open a Museum of Fun and Fantasy – sometimes called a toy or doll museum – at the railroad terminal.

Through a project agreement between the U.S. Department of the Interior and state Department of Environmental Protection, $2.8 million in state Green Acres and federal Land and Conservation Trust Funds buy the Caven Point wetland, beach/buffer area, tidal flats and fishing pier. The property is incorporated into Liberty State Park with the express purpose of providing “areas for fishing, crabbing, ecological study and passive outdoor recreation’' and, at the federal government’s insistence, protecting Caven Point Natural Wildlife Habitat and designating it a Natural Area.

Ronald Reagan speaks at Liberty State Park as he kicks off his Presidential Campaign in Jersey City on Sept. 1, 1980. Seated on the left are: Maureen, Nancy, and Ron Reagan. (Star-Ledger file photo by Cary Herz) SL

On Labor Day, Ronald Reagan kicks off his campaign for the presidency at the water’s edge “with the eyes of Miss Liberty on our gathering.”


Contents

Narendra Modi first announced the project to commemorate Vallabhbhai Patel on 7 October 2013 at a press conference to mark the beginning of his 10th year as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. At the time, the project was dubbed, "Gujarat's tribute to the nation". [9]

A separate Society named Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET) was formed under the chairmanship of the Chief minister, Government of Gujarat, to execute the project. [9] [10]

An outreach drive named the Statue of Unity Movement was started to support the construction of the statue. It helped collect the iron needed for the statue by asking farmers to donate their used farming instruments. [9] [11] By 2016, a total of 135 metric tonnes of scrap iron had been collected and about 109 tonnes of it was used to make the foundation of the statue after processing. [12] A marathon titled Run For Unity was held on 15 December 2013 in Surat and Vadodara in support of the project. [13]

Design Edit

The statue depicts Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian independence movement, the first home minister as well as the first Deputy Prime Minister of independent India, and responsible for the integration of hundreds of princely states into the modern Republic of India.

After studying statues of Patel across the country, a team of historians, artists, and academics chose a design submitted by the Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar. [a] The Statue of Unity is a much larger replica of a statue of the leader installed at Ahmedabad International Airport. Commenting on the design, Ram Sutar's son, Anil Sutar explains that, "the expression, posture and pose justify the dignity, confidence, iron will as well as kindness that his personality exudes. The head is up, a shawl flung from shoulders and hands are on the side as if he is set to walk". Three models of the design measuring 3 feet (0.91 m), 18 feet (5.5 m), and 30 feet (9.1 m) were initially created. Once the design of the largest model was approved, a detailed 3D-scan was produced which formed the basis for the bronze cladding cast in a foundry in China. [16] [12]

Patel's dhoti-clad legs and the use of sandals for footwear rendered the design thinner at the base than at the top thereby affecting its stability. This was addressed by maintaining a slenderness ratio of 16:19 rather than the customary 8:14 ratio of other tall buildings. [12] The statue is built to withstand winds of up to 180 kilometres per hour (110 mph) and earthquakes measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale which are at a depth of 10 km and within a radius of 12 km of the statue. This is aided by the use of two 250 tonne tuned mass dampers ensuring maximum stability. [1] [12]

The total height of the structure is 240 m (790 ft), with a base of 58 m (190 ft) and the statue measuring 182 m (597 ft). [1] The height of 182 metres was specifically chosen to match the number of seats in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly. [9] [12]

Funding Edit

The Statue of Unity was built by a Public Private Partnership model, with most of the money raised by the Government of Gujarat. The Gujarat state government had allotted ₹ 500 crore (equivalent to ₹ 607 crore or US$85 million in 2019) for the project in its budget from 2012 to 2015. [17] [18] In the 2014–15 Union Budget, ₹ 200 crore (equivalent to ₹ 257 crore or US$36 million in 2019) was allocated for the construction of the statue. [19] [20] [21] Funds were also contributed by Public Sector Undertakings under the Corporate Social Responsibility scheme. [22]

Construction Edit

A consortium comprising Turner Construction, Michael Graves and Associates and the Meinhardt Group supervised the project. The project took 57 months to complete – 15 months for planning, 40 months for construction and 2 months for handing over by the consortium. [23] The total cost of the project was estimated to be about ₹ 2,063 crore (equivalent to ₹ 27 billion or US$370 million in 2019) by the government. [17] The tender bids for the first phase were invited in October 2013 and were closed in November 2013. [24]

Narendra Modi, then serving as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, laid the statue's foundation stone on 31 October 2013, the 138th anniversary of Patel's birth. [25] [26]

Indian infrastructure company Larsen & Toubro won the contract on 27 October 2014 for its lowest bid of ₹ 2,989 crore (equivalent to ₹ 38 billion or US$540 million in 2019) for the design, construction and maintenance of the statue. [27] [28] L&T commenced the construction on 31 October 2014. In the first phase of the project, ₹1,347 crore was earmarked for the main statue, ₹235 crore for the exhibition hall and convention centre, ₹83 crore for the bridge connecting the memorial to the mainland and ₹657 crore for the maintenance of the structure for a duration of 15 years after its completion. [27] [28] The Sadhu Bet hillock was flattened from 70 metres to 55 metres to lay the foundation of the statue. [12]

L&T employed over 3000 workers and 250 engineers in the statue's construction. The core of the statue used 210,000 cubic metres (7,400,000 cu ft) of cement and concrete, 6,500 tonnes of structural steel, and 18,500 tonnes of reinforced steel. The outer façade is made up of 1,700 tonnes of bronze plates and 1,850 tonnes of bronze cladding which in turn consists of 565 macro and 6000 micro panels. The bronze panels were cast in Jiangxi Tongqing Metal Handicrafts Co. Ltd (the TQ Art foundry) in China as facilities large enough for such casting were unavailable in India. [29] [30] [12] The bronze panels were transported over sea and then by road to a workshop near the construction site where they were assembled. [12]

Construction of the monument was completed in mid-October 2018 and the inaugural ceremony was held on 31 October 2018 (143rd birth anniversary of Vallabhbhai Patel), and was presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. [31] [32] The statue has been described as a tribute to Indian engineering skills. [33]

The Statue of Unity is the world's tallest statue at 182 metres (597 ft). It rises 54 metres (177 ft) higher than the previous record holder, the Spring Temple Buddha in China's Henan province. [34] The previous tallest statue in India was the 41 m (135 ft) tall statue of Lord Hanuman at the Paritala Anjaneya Temple near Vijayawada in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The statue can be seen within a 7 km (4.3 mi) radius. [12]

The monument is constructed on a river island named Sadhu Bet, 3.2 km (2.0 mi) away from and facing the Narmada Dam downstream. [1] The statue and its surroundings occupy more than 2 hectares (4.9 acres), [ citation needed ] and are surrounded by a 12 km (7.5 mi) long artificial lake formed by the Garudeshwar weir downstream on the Narmada river. [35] [12]

The statue is divided into five zones of which only three are accessible to the public. From its base to the level of Patel's shins is the first zone which has three levels and includes the exhibition area, mezzanine and roof. The first zone also contains a memorial garden and a museum. The second zone reaches up to Patel's thighs, while the third extends up to the viewing gallery at a height of 153 metres. The fourth zone is the maintenance area while the final zone comprises the head and shoulders of the statue. [36] [12]

The museum in the first zone catalogues the life of Sardar Patel and his contributions. An adjoining audio-visual gallery provides a 15-minute long presentation on Patel and also describes the tribal culture of the state. [12] The concrete towers which form the statue's legs contain two elevators each. Each lift can carry 26 people at a time to the viewing gallery in just over 30 seconds. The gallery is located at a height of 153 metres (502 ft) and can hold up to 200 people. [37] [38]

Tribals Reaction Edit

Local tribals belonging to the Tadvi tribe opposed the land acquisition for the development of tourism infrastructure around the statue. [39] They have been offered cash and land compensation, and have been provided jobs. [ citation needed ] Around 300 activists were arrested ahead of unveiling of the statue. [40] People of Kevadia, Kothi, Waghodia, Limbdi, Navagam, and Gora villages opposed the construction of the statue and demanded the restitution of the land rights over 375 hectares (927 acres) of land acquired earlier for the dam as well as for the formation of a new Garudeshwar subdistrict. They also opposed the formation of Kevadia Area Development Authority (KADA) and the construction of the Garudeshwar weir-cum-causeway project. The government of Gujarat accepted most of their demands. [41]

Political Reactions Edit

Indian National Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, "Ironic that a statue of Sardar Patel is being inaugurated, but every institution he helped build is being smashed. The systematic destruction of India's institutions is nothing short of treason,". [42]

Pointing out that there was no such gigantic statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the country, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor questioned why the saffron party has built a bigger statue for the father of the nation. "I am asking a question. Is it right to erect such an imposing statue of Patel, a man of simplicity and a true Gandhian, who moved along with poor peasants," he said. [43]

Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati demanded an apology from those who had flayed her over the statues of dalit leaders her government had installed in Uttar Pradesh. [44]

International Reactions Edit

In UK, Conservative Party MP Peter Bone said, "To take 1.1 billion pounds in aid from us and then at the same time spend 330 million pounds on a statue is a total nonsense and it is the sort of thing that drives people mad." He added, "It is up to them how they spend their money but if they can afford this statue, then it is clearly a country we should not need to be giving aid to." [45]

Over 128,000 tourists visited the statue in the 11 days after its opening to the public on 1 November 2018. [46] The daily average tourist footfall at Statue of Unity during November 2019 reached 15,036, outpacing the Statue of Liberty (which attracts around 10,000 daily visitors on average). [47] It has been included in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s ‘8 Wonders of SCO’ list. [48] In its first year of operation, the Statue of Unity attracted 29 lakh (2,900,000) visitors and collected ₹82 crore in ticket revenue. [49] By 15 March 2021, 50 lakh (5,000,000) tourists visited the venue. [50]


Inside the statue there are 354 steps from the pedestal up to the crown, which offers a small observation deck. The crown of Lady Liberty features 25 windows overlooking New York Harbor. The area was open to visitors up until the September 11, 2001 terror attack. The island was completely closed to the public following the attack, but partially re-opened in 2004. Visitors were granted access to the gallery and pedestal, while the other interior parts remained closed. The crown was later reopened on July 4, 2009, but only a limited amount of people are allowed go up to the crown at a time.

Lady Liberty measures 111 feet and 1 inch from the heel to the top of the head. The length of her hand measures about 16 feet and 5 inches, while her index finger measures about eight feet. Lady Liberty also has large feet, and the length of her sandal measuring 25 feet long, which makes her a size 879 in terms of US women's shoes sizes. Lady Liberty’s head to her chin measures 17 feet and 3 inches, while the width of her head measures 10 feet. The distance between the statue’s eyes is 2 feet and 6 inches. Miss Liberty also has a 35 feet waist, and her face is over 8 feet tall. The statue’s nose measures about 4 feet and 6 inches in length, while the width of the mouth is 3 feet. The right arm of Lady Liberty, which holds a torch that is always lit, measures a length of 42 feet and a width of 12 feet. The left hand holds a tablet measuring 23 feet and 7 inches in height and 13 feet and 7 inches in width, and is a thickness of 2 feet. The tablet has the words JULY IV MDCCLXXVI inscribed on it, which translates to July 4, 1776, and it is the date when the United States declared its independence.

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Watch the video: Statue of unity vs Statue of liberty Full Comparison UNBIASED in Hindi (January 2022).