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Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French government for the 100th anniversary of American Independence. It was designed by a French sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi while the steel framework was made by Gustave Eiffel. The workshop Bartholdi chose for building the statue was Gaget, Gauthier, and Company because they were experienced in the intricate technique of copper repousse. The location chosen was Bedloe's Island situated just inside the narrows of New York Harbour, a "gateway to America". The statue was shipped to America in 1885 in 241 pieces by the French frigate "Isere". The pedestal on which the statue stands was paid for by the American people spurred on by a major fund raising effort undertaken by the publisher Joseph Pulitzer, who promised to publish in his newspaper the name of each donor, no matter how small. Finally in 1886 the statue was erected and the dedication ceremony took place on 28th October and although the symbol of liberty was female, no women were invited. From the ground to the torch is 305feet; from the top of the base to the torch is 151feet. The pedestal itself sits upon a foundation that grows up from within the star shaped walls of old Fort Wood. The seven rays on her crown represent the seven seas and the seven continents; the torch portrays a beacon which enlightens, whilst the tablet represents law and the broken chains at her feet, liberation. 1903 saw the installation of a bronze plaque in the base of the statue inscribed with the famous poem by Emma Lazarus "The New Colossus" including the lines".give me your tired, your poor, your huddles masses yearning to breathe free." In 1916 renovation was carried out which included removing copper from the torch and installing gas lamps and amber glass. In 1924 the island was renamed Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty was declared a national monument. In 1984 major restoration work commenced, including the replacement of the torch, the original is kept on display.


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