Statue of Liberty
Overview
The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture
Neoclassical sculpture
Neoclassical sculpture was a sculptural style of the 18th and 19th centuries. The neoclassical period was one of the great ages of public sculpture, though its "classical" prototypes were more likely to be Roman copies of Hellenistic sculptures. The neoclassical sculptors paid homage to an idea of...

 on Liberty Island
Liberty Island
Liberty Island is a small uninhabited island in New York Harbor in the United States, best known as the location of the Statue of Liberty. Though so called since the turn of the century, the name did not become official until 1956. In 1937, by proclamation 2250, President Franklin D...

 in New York Harbor
New York Harbor
New York Harbor refers to the waterways of the estuary near the mouth of the Hudson River that empty into New York Bay. It is one of the largest natural harbors in the world. Although the U.S. Board of Geographic Names does not use the term, New York Harbor has important historical, governmental,...

, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi
Frédéric Bartholdi
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was a French sculptor who is best known for designing the Statue of Liberty.-Life and career:...

 and dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue, a gift to the United States from the people of France, is of a robed female figure representing Libertas
Libertas
Libertas was the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty.- Temples and derived inspirations :In 238 BC, before the Second Punic War, having long been a Roman deity along with other personified virtues, Libertas assumed goddess status...

, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata
Tabula ansata
A tabula ansata or tabella ansata is a tablet with dovetail handles. It was a favorite form for votive tablets in imperial Rome....

(a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

, July 4, 1776.
Encyclopedia
The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture
Neoclassical sculpture
Neoclassical sculpture was a sculptural style of the 18th and 19th centuries. The neoclassical period was one of the great ages of public sculpture, though its "classical" prototypes were more likely to be Roman copies of Hellenistic sculptures. The neoclassical sculptors paid homage to an idea of...

 on Liberty Island
Liberty Island
Liberty Island is a small uninhabited island in New York Harbor in the United States, best known as the location of the Statue of Liberty. Though so called since the turn of the century, the name did not become official until 1956. In 1937, by proclamation 2250, President Franklin D...

 in New York Harbor
New York Harbor
New York Harbor refers to the waterways of the estuary near the mouth of the Hudson River that empty into New York Bay. It is one of the largest natural harbors in the world. Although the U.S. Board of Geographic Names does not use the term, New York Harbor has important historical, governmental,...

, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi
Frédéric Bartholdi
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was a French sculptor who is best known for designing the Statue of Liberty.-Life and career:...

 and dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue, a gift to the United States from the people of France, is of a robed female figure representing Libertas
Libertas
Libertas was the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty.- Temples and derived inspirations :In 238 BC, before the Second Punic War, having long been a Roman deity along with other personified virtues, Libertas assumed goddess status...

, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata
Tabula ansata
A tabula ansata or tabella ansata is a tablet with dovetail handles. It was a favorite form for votive tablets in imperial Rome....

(a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue has become an icon of freedom and of the United States.

Bartholdi was inspired by French law professor, politician, and anti-slavery activist Édouard René de Laboulaye
Édouard René de Laboulaye
Édouard René Lefèbvre de Laboulaye was a French jurist, poet, author and anti-slavery activist...

, who commented in 1865 that any monument raised to American independence would properly be a joint project of the French and American peoples. Due to the troubled political situation in France, work on the statue did not commence until the early 1870s. In 1875, Laboulaye proposed that the French finance the statue and the Americans provide the pedestal and the site. Bartholdi completed the head and the torch-bearing arm before the statue was fully designed, and these pieces were exhibited for publicity at international expositions. The arm was displayed at the Centennial Exposition
Centennial Exposition
The Centennial International Exhibition of 1876, the first official World's Fair in the United States, was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from May 10 to November 10, 1876, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. It was officially...

 in 1876 and in New York's Madison Square Park from 1876 to 1882. Fundraising proved difficult, especially for the Americans, and by 1885 work on the pedestal was threatened due to lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer
Joseph Pulitzer
Joseph Pulitzer April 10, 1847 – October 29, 1911), born Politzer József, was a Hungarian-American newspaper publisher of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the New York World. Pulitzer introduced the techniques of "new journalism" to the newspapers he acquired in the 1880s and became a leading...

 of the World
New York World
The New York World was a newspaper published in New York City from 1860 until 1931. The paper played a major role in the history of American newspapers...

started a drive for donations to complete the project that attracted more than 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar. The statue was constructed in France, shipped overseas in crates, and assembled on the completed pedestal on what was then called Bedloe's Island. The statue's completion was marked by New York's first ticker-tape parade
Ticker-tape parade
A ticker-tape parade is a parade event held in a built-up urban setting, allowing large amounts of shredded paper to be thrown from nearby office buildings onto the parade route, creating a celebratory effect by the snowstorm-like flurry...

 and a dedication ceremony presided over by President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Grover Cleveland
Grover Cleveland
Stephen Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th president of the United States. Cleveland is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms and therefore is the only individual to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents...

.

The statue was administered by the United States Lighthouse Board
United States Lighthouse Board
The United States Lighthouse Board was the agency of the US Federal Government that was responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all lighthouses in the United States...

 until 1901 and then by the Department of War
United States Department of War
The United States Department of War, also called the War Department , was the United States Cabinet department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army...

; since 1933 it has been maintained by the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

. The statue was closed for renovation for much of 1938. In the early 1980s, it was found to have deteriorated to such an extent that a major restoration was required. While the statue was closed from 1984 to 1986, the torch and a large part of the internal structure were replaced. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, it was closed for reasons of safety and security; the pedestal reopened in 2004 and the statue in 2009, with limits on the number of visitors allowed to ascend to the crown. The statue, including the pedestal and base, closed beginning on October 29, 2011 for up to a year, so that a secondary staircase and other safety features can be installed; Liberty Island remains open. Public access to the balcony surrounding the torch has been barred for safety reasons since 1916.

Origin

The origin of the Statue of Liberty project is generally traced to a comment made by French law professor and politician Édouard René de Laboulaye
Édouard René de Laboulaye
Édouard René Lefèbvre de Laboulaye was a French jurist, poet, author and anti-slavery activist...

 in mid-1865. In after-dinner conversation at his home near Versailles, Laboulaye, an ardent supporter of the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 in the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, stated: "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."
Laboulaye's comment was not intended as a proposal, but it inspired a young sculptor, Frédéric Bartholdi
Frédéric Bartholdi
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was a French sculptor who is best known for designing the Statue of Liberty.-Life and career:...

, who was present at the dinner. Given the repressive nature of the regime of Napoleon III
Napoleon III of France
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte was the President of the French Second Republic and as Napoleon III, the ruler of the Second French Empire. He was the nephew and heir of Napoleon I, christened as Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte...

, Bartholdi took no immediate action on the idea except to discuss it with Laboulaye. Instead, Bartholdi approached Ismail Pasha, Khedive
Khedive
The term Khedive is a title largely equivalent to the English word viceroy. It was first used, without official recognition, by Muhammad Ali Pasha , the Wāli of Egypt and Sudan, and vassal of the Ottoman Empire...

 of Egypt, with a plan to build a huge lighthouse
Lighthouse
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways....

 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
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 in Port Said
Port Said
Port Said is a city that lies in north east Egypt extending about 30 km along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, north of the Suez Canal, with an approximate population of 603,787...

. 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
Colossus of Rhodes
The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek Titan Helios, erected in the city of Rhodes on the Greek island of Rhodes by Chares of Lindos between 292 and 280 BC. It is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was constructed to celebrate Rhodes' victory over the ruler of...

: an ancient bronze statue of the Greek god of the sun, Helios
Helios
Helios was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. Homer often calls him simply Titan or Hyperion, while Hesiod and the Homeric Hymn separate him as a son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia or Euryphaessa and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn...

. This statue is believed to have been over 100 feet (30.5 m) high, and it similarly stood at a harbor entrance and carried a light to guide ships.

The American project was further delayed by the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

, in which Bartholdi served as a major of militia. In the war, Napoleon III was captured and deposed. Bartholdi's home province of Alsace
Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

 was lost to the Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

ns, and a more liberal republic
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...

 was installed in France. 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. In June 1871, Bartholdi crossed the Atlantic, with letters of introduction
Letter of introduction
The letter of introduction, along with the visiting card, was an important part of polite social interaction in the 18th and 19th centuries. It remains important in formal situations, such as an ambassador presenting his credentials, and in certain business circles.In general, a person would not...

 signed by Laboulaye.

Arriving at New York Harbor
New York Harbor
New York Harbor refers to the waterways of the estuary near the mouth of the Hudson River that empty into New York Bay. It is one of the largest natural harbors in the world. Although the U.S. Board of Geographic Names does not use the term, New York Harbor has important historical, governmental,...

, Bartholdi focused on Bedloe's Island
Liberty Island
Liberty Island is a small uninhabited island in New York Harbor in the United States, best known as the location of the Statue of Liberty. Though so called since the turn of the century, the name did not become official until 1956. In 1937, by proclamation 2250, President Franklin D...

 as a site for the statue, struck by the fact that vessels arriving in New York
Port of New York and New Jersey
The Port of New York and New Jersey comprises the waterways in the estuary of the New York-Newark metropolitan area with a port district encompassing an approximate area within a radius of the Statue of Liberty National Monument...

 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." As well as meeting many influential New Yorkers, Bartholdi visited President Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

, who assured him that it would not be difficult to obtain the site for the statue. Bartholdi crossed the United States twice by rail, and met many Americans whom he felt would be sympathetic to the project. 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.
Bartholdi had made a first model of his concept in 1870. The son of a friend of Bartholdi's, American artist John La Farge, later maintained that Bartholdi made the first sketches for the statue during his U.S. visit at La Farge's Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

 studio. Bartholdi continued to develop the concept following his return to France. 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
Monumental sculpture
The term monumental sculpture is often used in art history and criticism, but not always consistently. It combines two concepts, one of function, and one of size, and may include an element of a third more subjective concept. It is often used for all sculptures that are large...

 carved in sandstone below the fortress of Belfort
Belfort
Belfort is a commune in the Territoire de Belfort department in Franche-Comté in northeastern France and is the prefecture of the department. It is located on the Savoureuse, on the strategically important natural route between the Rhine and the Rhône – the Belfort Gap or Burgundian Gate .-...

, which during the war had resisted a Prussian siege
Siege of Belfort
The Siege of Belfort was a 103-day military assault and blockade of the city of Belfort, France by Prussian forces during the Franco-Prussian War...

 for over three months. The defiant lion, 73 feet (22.3 m) long and half that in height, displays an emotional quality characteristic of Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

, which Bartholdi would later bring to the Statue of Liberty.

Design, style, and symbolism

Bartholdi and Laboulaye considered how best to express the idea of American liberty. In early American history, two female figures were frequently used as cultural symbols of the nation. One, Columbia, was seen as an embodiment of the United States in the manner that Britannia
Britannia
Britannia is an ancient term for Great Britain, and also a female personification of the island. The name is Latin, and derives from the Greek form Prettanike or Brettaniai, which originally designated a collection of islands with individual names, including Albion or Great Britain. However, by the...

 was identified with the United Kingdom and Marianne
Marianne
Marianne is a national emblem of France and an allegory of Liberty and Reason. She represents the state and values of France, differently from another French cultural symbol, the "Coq Gaulois" which represents France as a nation and its history, land, culture, and variety of sport disciplines in...

 came to represent France. Columbia had supplanted the earlier figure of an Indian princess
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

, which had come to be regarded as uncivilized and derogatory toward Americans. The other significant female icon in American culture was a representation of Liberty, derived from Libertas
Libertas
Libertas was the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty.- Temples and derived inspirations :In 238 BC, before the Second Punic War, having long been a Roman deity along with other personified virtues, Libertas assumed goddess status...

, the goddess of freedom widely worshipped in ancient Rome
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

, especially among emancipated slaves
Emancipation
Emancipation means the act of setting an individual or social group free or making equal to citizens in a political society.Emancipation may also refer to:* Emancipation , a champion Australian thoroughbred racehorse foaled in 1979...

. A Liberty figure adorned most American coins of the time, and representations of Liberty appeared in popular and civic art, including Thomas Crawford's Statue of Freedom
Statue of Freedom
The Statue of Freedom — also known as Armed Freedom or simply Freedom — is a bronze statue designed by Thomas Crawford that, since 1863, has crowned the dome of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.. Originally named Freedom Triumphant in War and Peace, official U.S...

(1863) atop the dome of the United States Capitol Building.

Artists of the 18th and 19th centuries striving to evoke republican ideals
Classical republicanism
Classical republicanism is a form of republicanism developed in the Renaissance inspired by the governmental forms and writings of classical antiquity. The earliest examples of the school were classical writers such as Aristotle, Polybius, and Cicero...

 commonly used representations of Liberty. A figure of Liberty was also depicted on the Great Seal of France
Great Seal of France
The Great Seal of France is the official seal of the French Republic.- Description :The Great Seal features Liberty personnified as a seated Juno wearing a crown with seven arches. She holds a fasces and is supported by a ship's tiller with a cock carved or printed on it. At her feet is a vase...

. However, Bartholdi and Laboulaye avoided an image of revolutionary liberty such as that depicted in Eugène Delacroix
Eugène Delacroix
Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school...

's famed Liberty Leading the People
Liberty Leading the People
Liberty Leading the People is a painting by Eugène Delacroix commemorating the July Revolution of 1830, which toppled Charles X of France. A woman personifying Liberty leads the people forward over the bodies of the fallen, holding the tricouleur flag of the French Revolution in one hand and...

(1830). In this painting, which commemorates France's Revolution of 1830
July Revolution
The French Revolution of 1830, also known as the July Revolution or in French, saw the overthrow of King Charles X of France, the French Bourbon monarch, and the ascent of his cousin Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orléans, who himself, after 18 precarious years on the throne, would in turn be overthrown...

, a half-clothed Liberty leads an armed mob over the bodies of the fallen. Laboulaye had no sympathy for revolution, and so Bartholdi's figure would be fully dressed in flowing robes. 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.

Crawford's statue was designed in the early 1850s. It was originally to be crowned with a pileus
Pileus (hat)
The pileus — also pilleus or pilleum — was a cap worn by sailors in Ancient Greece and later copied by Ancient Rome. It was a brimless, felt cap, somewhat similar to a fez...

, the cap given to emancipated slaves in ancient Rome. Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

 Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

, a Southerner who would later serve as president
President of the Confederate States of America
The President of the Confederate States of America was the Head of State and Head of Government of the Confederate States of America, which was formed from the states which declared their secession from the United States, thus precipitating the American Civil War. The only person to hold the...

 of the Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

, was concerned that the pileus would be taken as an abolitionist symbol. He ordered that it be changed to a helmet.
Delacroix's figure wears a pileus, and Bartholdi at first considered placing one on his figure as well. Instead, he used a diadem
Diadem
Diadem may refer to:*Diadem, a type of crown-Military:*HMS Diadem was a 64-gun third rate ship of the line in the Royal Navy launched in 1782 at Chatham and participated in the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1787...

, or crown, to top its head. In so doing, he avoided a reference to Marianne, who invariably wears a pileus. The seven rays form a halo or aureole. They evoke the sun, the seven seas, and the seven continents, and represent another means, besides the torch, whereby Liberty enlightens the world.

Bartholdi's early models were all similar in concept: a female figure in neoclassical style representing liberty, wearing a stola
Stola
The stola was the traditional garment of Roman women, corresponding to the toga, or the pallium, that were worn by men.Originally, women wore togas as well, but after the 2nd century BC, the toga was worn exclusively by men, and women were expected to wear the stola...

and pella (gown and cloak, common in depictions of Roman goddesses) and holding a torch aloft. The face was modeled after that of Charlotte Beysser Bartholdi, the sculptor's mother. 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
New York Bay
New York Bay is the collective term for the marine areas surrounding the entrance of the Hudson River into the Atlantic Ocean. Its two largest components are Upper New York Bay and Lower New York Bay, which are connected by The Narrows...

 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. 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.


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 rise over a broken chain, half-hidden by her robes and difficult to see from the ground. Bartholdi was initially uncertain of what to place in Liberty's left hand; he settled on a tabula ansata
Tabula ansata
A tabula ansata or tabella ansata is a tablet with dovetail handles. It was a favorite form for votive tablets in imperial Rome....

, a keystone-shaped tablet used to evoke the concept of law. Though Bartholdi greatly admired the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, he chose to inscribe "JULY IV MDCCLXXVI" on the tablet, thus associating the date of the country's Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

 with the concept of liberty.

Consultations with the metalwork foundry Gaget, Gauthier & Co. led Bartholdi to conclude that the skin should be made of copper sheets, beaten to shape by the repoussé method. An advantage of this choice was that the entire statue would be light for its volume—the copper need be only 0.094 inch (0.23876 cm) thick. He decided on a height of 151 feet (46 m) for the statue, double that of Italy's Colosso di San Carlo Borromeo and the German statue
Hermannsdenkmal
The Hermannsdenkmal is a monument located in Ostwestfalen-Lippe in Germany in the Southern part of the Teutoburg Forest, which is southwest of Detmold in the district of Lippe...

 of Arminius
Arminius
Arminius , also known as Armin or Hermann was a chieftain of the Germanic Cherusci who defeated a Roman army in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest...

, both made with the same method. Bartholdi interested a former teacher of his, architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc
Eugène Viollet-le-Duc
Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc was a French architect and theorist, famous for his interpretive "restorations" of medieval buildings. Born in Paris, he was a major Gothic Revival architect.-Early years:...

, in the project. Viollet-le-Duc planned to construct a brick pier
Pier (architecture)
In architecture, a pier is an upright support for a superstructure, such as an arch or bridge. Sections of wall between openings function as piers. The simplest cross section of the pier is square, or rectangular, although other shapes are also common, such as the richly articulated piers of Donato...

 within the statue, to which the skin would be anchored.

Announcement and early work

In 1875, France was enjoying improved political stability and a recovering postwar economy. Growing interest in the upcoming Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia led Laboulaye to decide it was time to seek public support. 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. The French would finance the statue; Americans would be expected to pay for the pedestal
Pedestal
Pedestal is a term generally applied to the support of a statue or a vase....

. 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
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

. French monarchists
Orléanist
The Orléanists were a French right-wing/center-right party which arose out of the French Revolution. It governed France 1830-1848 in the "July Monarchy" of king Louis Philippe. It is generally seen as a transitional period dominated by the bourgeoisie and the conservative Orleanist doctrine in...

 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. Laboulaye arranged events designed to appeal to the rich and powerful, including a special performance at the Paris Opera
Paris Opera
The Paris Opera is the primary opera company of Paris, France. It was founded in 1669 by Louis XIV as the Académie d'Opéra and shortly thereafter was placed under the leadership of Jean-Baptiste Lully and renamed the Académie Royale de Musique...

 on April 25, 1876, that featured a new cantata
Cantata
A cantata is a vocal composition with an instrumental accompaniment, typically in several movements, often involving a choir....

 by composer Charles Gounod
Charles Gounod
Charles-François Gounod was a French composer, known for his Ave Maria as well as his operas Faust and Roméo et Juliette.-Biography:...

. The piece was titled La Liberté éclairant le monde, the French version of the statue's announced name.
Despite its initial focus 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
Franco-American alliance
The Franco-American alliance refers to the 1778 alliance between Louis XVI's France and the United States, during the American Revolutionary War. Formalized in the 1778 Treaty of Alliance, it was a military pact in which France provided arms and money, and engaged in full-scale war with Britain. ...

 in the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

. Less idealistically, contributions came from those who hoped for American support in the French attempt to build the Panama Canal
Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

. The firm of Japy Frères, copper merchants, donated all the copper needed to build the statue, a gift valued at 64,000 francs (about $16,000 at the time or the equivalent of $323,000 today). The copper is said to have come from a mine in Visnes
Visnes, Rogaland
Visnes is a community near Haugesund on the island of Karmøy, in the county of Rogaland on the west coast of Norway.It was in Visnes that the copper vein that provided material for the Statue of Liberty was found. The copper at this site was first discovered in 1865. Visnes was the site of one of...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, though this has not been conclusively determined.

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. In May 1876, Bartholdi traveled to the United States as a member of a French delegation to the Centennial Exhibition, and arranged for a huge painting of the statue to be shown in New York as part of the Centennial festivities. 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
Bartholdi Fountain
The Bartholdi Fountain is a monumental public fountain, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who later created the Statue of Liberty. The fountain was originally made for the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is now located at the corner of Independence Avenue and...

 designed by Bartholdi. 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. 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.

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. Committees to raise money to pay for the foundation and pedestal were formed in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. The New York group eventually took on most of the responsibility for American fundraising and is often referred to as the "American Committee". One of its members was 19-year-old Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

, the future governor of New York and president of the United States. 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
Rutherford B. Hayes
Rutherford Birchard Hayes was the 19th President of the United States . As president, he oversaw the end of Reconstruction and the United States' entry into the Second Industrial Revolution...

, who took office the following day, selected the Bedloe's Island site that Bartholdi had proposed.

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
Exposition Universelle (1878)
The third Paris World's Fair, called an Exposition Universelle in French, was held from 1 May through to 10 November 1878. It celebrated the recovery of France after the 1870 Franco-Prussian War.-Construction:...

. 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. 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.

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. The following year, Bartholdi was able to obtain the services of the innovative designer and builder Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. Eiffel and his structural engineer, Maurice Koechlin
Maurice Koechlin
Maurice Koechlin was a French-Swiss structural engineer.-Life:Born in Buhl, Haut-Rhin, he studied at the lycée in Mulhouse then at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology under Carl Culmann....

, decided to abandon the pier and instead build an iron truss
Truss
In architecture and structural engineering, a truss is a structure comprising one or more triangular units constructed with straight members whose ends are connected at joints referred to as nodes. External forces and reactions to those forces are considered to act only at the nodes and result in...

 tower. Eiffel opted not to use a completely rigid structure, which would force stresses to accumulate in the skin and lead eventually to cracking. 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 an armature
Armature (sculpture)
In sculpture, an armature is a framework around which the sculpture is built. This framework provides structure and stability, especially when a plastic material such as wax or clay is being used as the medium...

—a metal framework that ends in a mesh of metal straps, known as "saddles", that are riveted to the skin, providing firm support. In a labor-intensive process, each saddle had to be crafted individually. To prevent galvanic corrosion between the copper skin and the iron support structure, Eiffel insulated the skin with asbestos
Asbestos
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties. They all have in common their eponymous, asbestiform habit: long, thin fibrous crystals...

 impregnated with shellac
Shellac
Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug, on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. It is processed and sold as dry flakes , which are dissolved in ethyl alcohol to make liquid shellac, which is used as a brush-on colorant, food glaze and wood finish...

. 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.

Eiffel's design made the statue one of the earliest examples of curtain wall
Curtain wall
A curtain wall is an outer covering of a building in which the outer walls are non-structural, but merely keep out the weather. As the curtain wall is non-structural it can be made of a lightweight material reducing construction costs. When glass is used as the curtain wall, a great advantage is...

 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. 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 (12.2 m) long. 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.

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
United States Ambassador to France
This article is about the United States Ambassador to France. There has been a United States Ambassador to France since the American Revolution. The United States sent its first envoys to France in 1776, towards the end of the four-centuries-old Bourbon dynasty...

 Levi P. Morton
Levi P. Morton
Levi Parsons Morton was a Representative from New York and the 22nd Vice President of the United States . He also later served as the 31st Governor of New York.-Biography:...

. 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. 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
Montauban
Montauban is a commune in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Midi-Pyrénées region in southern France. It is the capital of the department and lies north of Toulouse....

. 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. Laboulaye died in 1883. He was succeeded as chairman of the French committee by Ferdinand de Lesseps
Ferdinand de Lesseps
Ferdinand Marie, Vicomte de Lesseps, GCSI was the French developer of the Suez Canal, which joined the Mediterranean and Red Seas in 1869, and substantially reduced sailing distances and times between the West and the East.He attempted to repeat this success with an effort to build a sea-level...

, builder of the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

. 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. 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.

Fundraising, criticism, and construction in the United States

The committees in the United States faced great difficulties in obtaining funds. The Panic of 1873
Panic of 1873
The Panic of 1873 triggered a severe international economic depression in both Europe and the United States that lasted until 1879, and even longer in some countries. The depression was known as the Great Depression until the 1930s, but is now known as the Long Depression...

 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
Washington Monument
The Washington Monument is an obelisk near the west end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate the first U.S. president, General George Washington...

 sometimes stalled for years; it would ultimately take over three-and-a-half decades to complete. 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. There was also a feeling that Americans should design American public works—the selection of Italian-born Constantino Brumidi
Constantino Brumidi
Constantino Brumidi was an Greek/Italian-American historical painter, best known and honored for his fresco work in the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.-Parentage and early life:...

 to decorate the Capitol had provoked intense criticism, even though he was a naturalized U.S. citizen. Harper's Weekly
Harper's Weekly
Harper's Weekly was an American political magazine based in New York City. Published by Harper & Brothers from 1857 until 1916, it featured foreign and domestic news, fiction, essays on many subjects, and humor...

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." The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

stated that "no true patriot can countenance any such expenditures for bronze females in the present state of our finances." Faced with these criticisms, the American committees took little action for several years.

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. 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.
In 1881, the New York committee commissioned Richard Morris Hunt
Richard Morris Hunt
Richard Morris Hunt was an American architect of the nineteenth century and a preeminent figure in the history of American architecture...

 to design the pedestal. Within months, Hunt submitted a detailed plan, indicating that he expected construction to take about nine months. He proposed a pedestal 114 feet (34.7 m) in height; faced with money problems, the committee reduced that to 89 feet (27.1 m).

Hunt's pedestal design contains elements of classical architecture, including Doric
Doric order
The Doric order was one of the three orders or organizational systems of ancient Greek or classical architecture; the other two canonical orders were the Ionic and the Corinthian.-History:...

 portals, and the large mass is fragmented with architectural detail to focus attention on the statue. In form, it is a truncated pyramid, 62 feet (18.9 m) square at the base and 39.4 feet (12 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 40 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. According to author Louis Auchincloss
Louis Auchincloss
Louis Stanton Auchincloss was an American lawyer, novelist, historian, and essayist. He is best known as a prolific novelist who parlayed his firsthand knowledge into dozens of finely wrought books exploring the private lives of America's East Coast patrician class...

, the pedestal "craggily evokes the power of an ancient Europe over which rises the dominating figure of the Statue of Liberty". The committee hired former army General Charles Pomeroy Stone
Charles Pomeroy Stone
Charles Pomeroy Stone was a career United States Army officer, civil engineer, and surveyor. He fought with distinction in the Mexican–American War, earning two brevet promotions for his performance in the conflict. After resigning and surveying for the Mexican Government, he returned to the U.S...

 to oversee the construction work. Construction on the 15 feet (4.6 m) deep foundation began in 1883, and the pedestal's cornerstone was laid in 1884. In Hunt's original conception, the pedestal was to have been made of solid granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

. 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. The concrete mass was the largest poured to that time.

Fundraising for the statue had begun in 1882. The committee organized a large number of money-raising events. As part of one such effort, an auction of art and manuscripts, poet Emma Lazarus
Emma Lazarus
Lazarus began to be more interested in her Jewish ancestry after reading the George Eliot novel, Daniel Deronda, and as she heard of the Russian pogroms in the early 1880s. This led Lazarus to write articles on the subject. She also began translating the works of Jewish poets into English...

 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
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

 pogrom
Pogrom
A pogrom is a form of violent riot, a mob attack directed against a minority group, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes and properties, businesses, and religious centres...

s 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. The resulting sonnet
Sonnet
A sonnet is one of several forms of poetry that originate in Europe, mainly Provence and Italy. A sonnet commonly has 14 lines. The term "sonnet" derives from the Occitan word sonet and the Italian word sonetto, both meaning "little song" or "little sound"...

, "The New Colossus
The New Colossus
"The New Colossus" is a sonnet by Emma Lazarus , written in 1883 and, in 1903, engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the Statue of Liberty.- History of the poem :...

", including the iconic lines "Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free", is uniquely identified with the Statue of Liberty and is inscribed on a plaque in the museum in the base.

Even with these efforts, fundraising lagged. Grover Cleveland
Grover Cleveland
Stephen Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th president of the United States. Cleveland is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms and therefore is the only individual to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents...

, the governor of New York
Governor of New York
The Governor of the State of New York is the chief executive of the State of New York. The governor is the head of the executive branch of New York's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military and naval forces. The officeholder is afforded the courtesy title of His/Her...

, 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, failed when Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 representatives would not agree to the appropriation. 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. Joseph Pulitzer
Joseph Pulitzer
Joseph Pulitzer April 10, 1847 – October 29, 1911), born Politzer József, was a Hungarian-American newspaper publisher of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the New York World. Pulitzer introduced the techniques of "new journalism" to the newspapers he acquired in the 1880s and became a leading...

, publisher of the World
New York World
The New York World was a newspaper published in New York City from 1860 until 1931. The paper played a major role in the history of American newspapers...

, a New York newspaper, announced a drive to raise $100,000 (the equivalent of $2.3 million today). Pulitzer pledged to print the name of every contributor, no matter how small the amount given. 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." One donor gave "five cents as a poor office boy's mite
Lesson of the widow's mite
For the 2009 movie, see The Widow's Might.The Lesson of the widow's mite is presented in the Synoptic Gospels , in which Jesus is teaching at the Temple in Jerusalem. The Gospel of Mark specifies that two mites are together worth a quadrans, the smallest Roman coin...

 toward the Pedestal Fund." A group of children sent a dollar as "the money we saved to go to the circus with." Another dollar was given by a "lonely and very aged woman." Residents of a home for alcoholics in New York's rival city of Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

 (the cities would not merge until 1898) donated $15; other drinkers helped out through donation boxes in bars and saloons. A kindergarten class in Davenport, Iowa
Davenport, Iowa
Davenport is a city located along the Mississippi River in Scott County, Iowa, United States. Davenport is the county seat of and largest city in Scott County. Davenport was founded on May 14, 1836 by Antoine LeClaire and was named for his friend, George Davenport, a colonel during the Black Hawk...

, mailed the World a gift of $1.35.

As the donations flooded in, the committee resumed work on the pedestal. In June, New Yorkers displayed their new-found enthusiasm for the statue, as the French vessel Isère arrived with the crates holding the disassembled statue on board. Two hundred thousand people lined the docks and hundreds of boats put to sea to welcome the Isère. 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.

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-beam
I-beam
-beams, also known as H-beams, W-beams , rolled steel joist , or double-T are beams with an - or H-shaped cross-section. The horizontal elements of the "" are flanges, while the vertical element is the web...

s within the concrete pedestal and assembled. Once this was done, the sections of skin were carefully attached. Due to the width of the pedestal, it was not possible to erect scaffolding
Scaffolding
Scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support people and material in the construction or repair of buildings and other large structures. It is usually a modular system of metal pipes or tubes, although it can be from other materials...

, and workers dangled from the armature by ropes while installing the skin sections. Nevertheless, no one died during the construction work. 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
Gold leaf
right|thumb|250px|[[Burnishing]] gold leaf with an [[agate]] stone tool, during the water gilding processGold leaf is gold that has been hammered into extremely thin sheets and is often used for gilding. Gold leaf is available in a wide variety of karats and shades...

) and placed the lights inside them. A power plant was installed on the island to light the torch and for other electrical needs. After the skin was completed, renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead, designer of New York's Central Park
Central Park
Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

 and Brooklyn's Prospect Park, supervised a cleanup of Bedloe's Island in anticipation of the dedication.

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. 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
Madison Square
Madison Square is formed by the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway at 23rd Street in the New York City borough of Manhattan. The square was named for James Madison, fourth President of the United States and the principal author of the United States Constitution.The focus of the square is...

, once the venue for the arm, and proceeded to Battery Park
Battery Park
Battery Park is a 25-acre public park located at the Battery, the southern tip of Manhattan Island in New York City, facing New York Harbor. The Battery is named for artillery batteries that were positioned there in the city's early years in order to protect the settlement behind them...

 at the southern tip of Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 by way of Fifth Avenue and Broadway
Broadway (New York City)
Broadway is a prominent avenue in New York City, United States, which runs through the full length of the borough of Manhattan and continues northward through the Bronx borough before terminating in Westchester County, New York. It is the oldest north–south main thoroughfare in the city, dating to...

, with a slight detour so the parade could pass in front of the World building on Park Row
Park Row (Manhattan)
Park Row is a street located in the Financial District of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It was previously called Chatham Street and during the late 19th century it was nicknamed Newspaper Row, as most of New York City's newspapers located on the street to be close to the action at New...

. As the parade passed the New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City, USA. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at 13.39 trillion as of Dec 2010...

, traders threw ticker tape
Ticker tape
Ticker tape was the earliest digital electronic communications medium, transmitting stock price information over telegraph lines, in use between around 1870 through 1970...

 from the windows, beginning the New York tradition of the ticker-tape parade
Ticker-tape parade
A ticker-tape parade is a parade event held in a built-up urban setting, allowing large amounts of shredded paper to be thrown from nearby office buildings onto the parade route, creating a celebratory effect by the snowstorm-like flurry...

.

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. 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
William M. Evarts
William Maxwell Evarts was an American lawyer and statesman who served as U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Attorney General and U.S. Senator from New York...

. A French flag
Flag of France
The national flag of France is a tricolour featuring three vertical bands coloured royal blue , white, and red...

 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. 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". Bartholdi, observed near the dais, was called upon to speak, but he refused. Orator Chauncey M. Depew concluded the speechmaking with a lengthy address.

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. A scheduled fireworks display was postponed until November 1 because of poor weather.

Shortly after the dedication, the Cleveland
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

 Gazette
The Cleveland Gazette
The Cleveland Gazette was a weekly newspaper published in Cleveland, Ohio from August 25, 1883 to May 20, 1945. It was an African American newspaper owned and edited by Harry C. Smith, initially with a group of partners...

, an African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 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.

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." Bartholdi suggested gilding
Gilding
The term gilding covers a number of decorative techniques for applying fine gold leaf or powder to solid surfaces such as wood, stone, or metal to give a thin coating of gold. A gilded object is described as "gilt"...

 the statue to increase its ability to reflect light, but this proved too expensive. The United States Lighthouse Board
United States Lighthouse Board
The United States Lighthouse Board was the agency of the US Federal Government that was responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all lighthouses in the United States...

 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. In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt, once a member of the New York committee, ordered the statue's transfer to the War Department
United States Department of War
The United States Department of War, also called the War Department , was the United States Cabinet department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army...

, as it had proved useless as a lighthouse. 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.

The statue rapidly became a landmark. Many immigrants who entered through New York saw it as a welcoming sight. 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! 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.


Originally, the statue was a dull copper color, but shortly after 1900 a green patina
Patina
Patina is a tarnish that forms on the surface of bronze and similar metals ; a sheen on wooden furniture produced by age, wear, and polishing; or any such acquired change of a surface through age and exposure...

, also called verdigris
Verdigris
Verdigris is the common name for a green pigment obtained through the application of acetic acid to copper plates or the natural patina formed when copper, brass or bronze is weathered and exposed to air or seawater over a period of time. It is usually a basic copper carbonate, but near the sea...

, 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. In the belief that the patina was evidence of corrosion, Congress authorized $62,800 to paint the statue both inside and out. There was considerable public protest against the proposed exterior painting. 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." 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.
On July 30, 1916, during World War I, German saboteurs set off a disastrous explosion
Black Tom explosion
The Black Tom explosion on July 30, 1916 in Jersey City, New Jersey was an act of sabotage on American ammunition supplies by German agents to prevent the materiel from being used by the Allies in World War I.- Black Tom Island :...

 on the Black Tom peninsula in Jersey City
Jersey City, New Jersey
Jersey City is the seat of Hudson County, New Jersey, United States.Part of the New York metropolitan area, Jersey City lies between the Hudson River and Upper New York Bay across from Lower Manhattan and the Hackensack River and Newark Bay...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, in what is now part of Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park is located on Upper New York Bay in Jersey City, New Jersey, opposite the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The park opened in 1976 to coincide with bicentennial celebrations and is operated and maintained by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry.-Geography and...

, 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, and seven people were killed. 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. The narrow ascent to the torch was closed for public safety reasons, and it has remained closed ever since.

That same year, Ralph Pulitzer
Ralph Pulitzer
Influential publisher and socialite Ralph Pulitzer was the son of newspaper magnate Joseph Pulitzer and upon Pulitzer's death acquired control of the New York World, an influential American newspaper...

, who had succeeded his father Joseph as publisher of the World, began a drive to raise $30,000 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
Gutzon Borglum
Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum was an American artist and sculptor famous for creating the monumental presidents' heads at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, the famous carving on Stone Mountain near Atlanta, as well as other public works of art.- Background :The son of Mormon Danish immigrants, Gutzon...

, who later sculpted Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, in the United States...

, redesigned the torch, replacing much of the original copper with stained glass. On December 2, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 pressed the telegraph key that turned on the lights, successfully illuminating the statue.

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
Liberty bond
A Liberty Bond was a war bond that was sold in the United States to support the allied cause in World War I. Subscribing to the bonds became a symbol of patriotic duty in the United States and introduced the idea of financial securities to many citizens for the first time. The Act of Congress which...

 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.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States . A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state...

 used his authority under the Antiquities Act
Antiquities Act
The Antiquities Act of 1906, officially An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities , is an act passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt on June 8, 1906, giving the President of the United States authority to, by executive order, restrict the use of...

 to declare the statue a national monument. The only successful suicide in the statue's history occurred five years later, when a man climbed out of one of the windows in the crown and jumped to his death, glancing off the statue's breast and landing on the base.

Early National Park Service years (1933–1982)

In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the statue transferred to the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

 (NPS). In 1937, the NPS gained jurisdiction over the rest of Bedloe's Island. With the Army's departure, the NPS began to transform the island into a park. The Works Progress Administration
Works Progress Administration
The Works Progress Administration was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unskilled workers to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects...

 (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; 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. The statue was closed to the public from May until December 1938.

During World War II, the statue remained open to visitors, although it was not illuminated at night due to wartime blackouts
Blackout (wartime)
A blackout during war, or apprehended war, is the practice of collectively minimizing outdoor light, including upwardly directed light. This was done in the 20th century to prevent crews of enemy aircraft from being able to navigate to their targets simply by sight, for example during the London...

. It was lit briefly on December 31, 1943, and on D-Day
D-Day
D-Day is a term often used in military parlance to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. "D-Day" often represents a variable, designating the day upon which some significant event will occur or has occurred; see Military designation of days and hours for similar...

, June 6, 1944, when its lights flashed "dot-dot-dot-dash," the Morse code
Morse code
Morse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment...

 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. In 1946, the interior of the statue within reach of visitors was coated with a special plastic so that graffiti could be washed away.

In 1956, an act of Congress
Act of Congress
An Act of Congress is a statute enacted by government with a legislature named "Congress," such as the United States Congress or the Congress of the Philippines....

 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
American Museum of Immigration
The American Museum of Immigration was a museum located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. It was dedicated on September 26, 1972 in a ceremony presided over by President of the United States Richard Nixon....

 on the island, which backers took as federal approval of the project, though the government was slow to grant funds for it. Nearby Ellis Island
Ellis Island
Ellis Island in New York Harbor was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States. It was the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. The island was greatly expanded with landfill between 1892 and 1934. Before that, the much smaller original island was the...

 was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument
Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Island and Liberty Island
Statue of Liberty National Monument is a national monument comprising Liberty Island and Ellis Island in New York Harbor. It includes the Statue of Liberty, situated on Liberty Island , and the former immigration depot on Ellis Island . The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886...

 by proclamation of President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. In 1972, the immigration museum, in the statue's base, was finally opened in a ceremony led by President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

. 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
Ellis Island
Ellis Island in New York Harbor was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States. It was the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. The island was greatly expanded with landfill between 1892 and 1934. Before that, the much smaller original island was the...

.

The statue was 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
Gay pride parade
Pride parades for the LGBT community are events celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture. The events also at times serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage...

 rally and the annual Captive Baltic Nations rally. A powerful new lighting system was installed in advance of the American Bicentennial in 1976. The statue was the focal point for Operation Sail
Operation Sail
Operation Sail refers to a series of sailing events held to celebrate special occasions and features sailing vessels from around the world. Each event is coordinated by Operation Sail, Inc., a non-profit organization established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy and must be approved by the...

, a regatta of tall ship
Tall ship
A tall ship is a large, traditionally-rigged sailing vessel. Popular modern tall ship rigs include topsail schooners, brigantines, brigs and barques. "Tall Ship" can also be defined more specifically by an organization, such as for a race or festival....

s from all over the world that entered New York Harbor on July 4, 1976, and sailed around Liberty Island. The day concluded with a spectacular display of fireworks near the statue.

Renovation to present (since 1982)

The statue was examined in great detail by French and American engineers as part of the planning for its centennial in 1986. 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
Structural failure
Structural failure refers to loss of the load-carrying capacity of a component or member within a structure or of the structure itself. Structural failure is initiated when the material is stressed to its strength limit, thus causing fracture or excessive deformations...

. In addition, the head had been installed 2 foot (0.6096 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. 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.

In May 1982, President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 announced the formation of the Statue of Liberty–Ellis Island Centennial Commission, led by Chrysler Corporation chair Lee Iacocca
Lee Iacocca
Lido Anthony "Lee" Iacocca is an American businessman known for engineering the Mustang, the unsuccessful Ford Pinto, being fired from Ford Motor Company, and his revival of the Chrysler Corporation in the 1980s...

, to raise the funds needed to complete the work. Through its fundraising arm, the Statue of Liberty–Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., the group raised more than $350 million in donations. The Statue of Liberty was one of the earliest beneficiaries of a cause marketing
Cause marketing
Cause marketing or cause-related marketing refers to a type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a "for profit" business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit. The term is sometimes used more broadly and generally to refer to any type of marketing effort for social and...

 campaign. A 1983 promotion advertised that for each purchase made with an American Express
American Express
American Express Company or AmEx, is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Three World Financial Center, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States. Founded in 1850, it is one of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The company is best...

 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.

In 1984, the statue was closed to the public for the duration of the renovation. Workers erected scaffolding
Scaffolding
Scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support people and material in the construction or repair of buildings and other large structures. It is usually a modular system of metal pipes or tubes, although it can be from other materials...

 that obscured the statue from view. Liquid nitrogen
Liquid nitrogen
Liquid nitrogen is nitrogen in a liquid state at a very low temperature. It is produced industrially by fractional distillation of liquid air. Liquid nitrogen is a colourless clear liquid with density of 0.807 g/mL at its boiling point and a dielectric constant of 1.4...

 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
Coal tar
Coal tar is a brown or black liquid of extremely high viscosity, which smells of naphthalene and aromatic hydrocarbons. Coal tar is among the by-products when coal iscarbonized to make coke or gasified to make coal gas...

, originally applied to plug leaks and prevent corrosion. Blasting
Sodablasting
Sodablasting is a process in which sodium bicarbonate is applied against a surface using compressed air. An early use was to restore the Statue of Liberty in the late 1980s....

 with baking soda
Sodium bicarbonate
Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate is the chemical compound with the formula Na HCO3. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slightly salty, alkaline taste resembling that of washing soda . The natural mineral form is...

 powder removed the tar without further damaging the copper. 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
Hazmat suit
A hazmat suit is a garment worn as protection from hazardous materials or substances. A hazmat suit is generally combined with breathing apparatus for protection and may be used by firefighters, emergency personnel responding to toxic spills, researchers, specialists cleaning up contaminated...

, dubbed "moon suits", with self-contained breathing circuits. Larger holes in the copper skin were repaired, and new copper was added where necessary. The replacement skin was taken from a copper rooftop at Bell Labs
Bell Labs
Bell Laboratories is the research and development subsidiary of the French-owned Alcatel-Lucent and previously of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company , half-owned through its Western Electric manufacturing subsidiary.Bell Laboratories operates its...

, which had a patina that closely resembled the statue's; in exchange, the laboratory was provided some of the old copper skin for testing. The torch, found to have been leaking water since the 1916 alterations, was replaced with an exact replica of Bartholdi's unaltered torch. Consideration was given to replacing the arm and shoulder; the National Park Service insisted that they be repaired instead.

The entire armature was replaced. The puddled iron
Puddling (metallurgy)
Puddling was an Industrial Revolution means of making iron and steel. In the original puddling technique, molten iron in a reverberatory furnace was stirred with rods, which were consumed in the process...

 bars used by Eiffel were gradually removed. The new bars that attach to the pylon are made of low-carbon corrosion-resistant stainless steel
Stainless steel
In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5 or 11% chromium content by mass....

. The 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. To prevent the ray and arm making contact, the ray was realigned by several degrees. The lighting was again replaced—night-time illumination now comes from metal halide lamps that send beams of light to particular parts of the pedestal or statue, showing off various details. 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. A modern elevator was installed, allowing handicapped access to the observation area of the pedestal. An emergency elevator was installed within the statue, reaching up to the level of the shoulder.

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
François Mitterrand
François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand was the 21st President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra, serving from 1981 until 1995. He is the longest-serving President of France and, as leader of the Socialist Party, the only figure from the left so far elected President...

 in attendance. July 4 saw a reprise of Operation Sail, and the statue was reopened to the public on July 5. 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."

Following the September 11 attacks, the statue and Liberty Island were immediately 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, 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
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 administration. New York Congressman Anthony D. Weiner
Anthony D. Weiner
Anthony David Weiner is a former U.S. Representative who served from January 1999 until June 2011. A Democrat, Weiner held the seat previously occupied by Democrat Charles Schumer and won seven terms, never receiving less than 59 percent of the vote...

 made the statue's reopening a personal crusade. On May 17, 2009, President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

's Secretary of the Interior
United States Secretary of the Interior
The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior.The US Department of the Interior should not be confused with the concept of Ministries of the Interior as used in other countries...

, Ken Salazar
Ken Salazar
Kenneth Lee "Ken" Salazar is the current United States Secretary of the Interior, in the administration of President Barack Obama. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as a United States Senator from Colorado from 2005 to 2009. He and Mel Martinez were the first Hispanic U.S...

, 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. The statue, including the pedestal and base, closed on October 29, 2011 (the day after celebrations to mark the statue's 125th anniversary), for installation of new elevators and staircases, and to bring other facilities, such as restrooms, up to code. Although the statue is closed to the public for up to a year, Liberty Island remains open.

Location and visiting

The statue is situated in Upper New York Bay
Upper New York Bay
Upper New York Bay, or Upper Bay, is the traditional heart of the Port of New York and New Jersey, and often called New York Harbor. It is enclosed by the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island and the Hudson County, New Jersey municipalities of Jersey City and Bayonne.It...

 on Liberty Island
Liberty Island
Liberty Island is a small uninhabited island in New York Harbor in the United States, best known as the location of the Statue of Liberty. Though so called since the turn of the century, the name did not become official until 1956. In 1937, by proclamation 2250, President Franklin D...

, south of Ellis Island
Ellis Island
Ellis Island in New York Harbor was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States. It was the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. The island was greatly expanded with landfill between 1892 and 1934. Before that, the much smaller original island was the...

. Both islands were ceded by New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 to the federal government in 1800. As agreed in an 1834 compact between New York and New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 that set the state border at the bay's midpoint, the original islands remain New York territory despite their location on the New Jersey side of the state line. Land created by reclamation
Land reclamation
Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, is the process to create new land from sea or riverbeds. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or landfill.- Habitation :...

 at Ellis is New Jersey territory.

Entrance to the Statue of Liberty National Monument is free, but there is a charge for the ferry service that all visitors must use, 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
Circle Line Downtown
Circle Line Downtown is a sightseeing harbor cruise company that operates out of the South Street Seaport Pavilion Pier at the Financial District in Manhattan under Harbor Experience Companies.-History:...

, which had operated the service since 1953.
The ferries, which depart from Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park is located on Upper New York Bay in Jersey City, New Jersey, opposite the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The park opened in 1976 to coincide with bicentennial celebrations and is operated and maintained by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry.-Geography and...

 in Jersey City
Jersey City, New Jersey
Jersey City is the seat of Hudson County, New Jersey, United States.Part of the New York metropolitan area, Jersey City lies between the Hudson River and Upper New York Bay across from Lower Manhattan and the Hackensack River and Newark Bay...

 and Battery Park
Battery Park
Battery Park is a 25-acre public park located at the Battery, the southern tip of Manhattan Island in New York City, facing New York Harbor. The Battery is named for artillery batteries that were positioned there in the city's early years in order to protect the settlement behind them...

 in Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan is the southernmost part of the island of Manhattan, the main island and center of business and government of the City of New York...

, also stop at Ellis Island, making a combined trip possible. All ferry riders are subject to security screening, similar to airport procedures, prior to boarding. The statue, pedestal, and base are presently closed for renovation work. When the site is open, visitors intending to enter the statue's base and pedestal must obtain a complimentary museum/pedestal ticket along with their ferry ticket. 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.

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.). A presentation tablet, also bearing Bartholdi's name, declares the statue to be 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." There is a tablet placed by the New York committee that commemorates the fundraising done to build the pedestal. The cornerstone also bears a plaque placed by the Freemasons.

In 1903, a bronze tablet that bears the text of "The New Colossus" and commemorates Emma Lazarus was presented by friends of the poet. Until the 1986 renovation, it was mounted inside the pedestal; today it resides in the Statue of Liberty Museum in the base. It is accompanied by a tablet given by the Emma Lazarus Commemorative Committee in 1977, celebrating the poet's life.

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, Laboulaye, and Eiffel—are depicted. They are the work of Maryland sculptor Phillip Ratner.

In 1984, the Statue of Liberty was designated a UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

. 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."

Physical characteristics

Feature
U.S.
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
Length 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 metric tonnes
Weight of steel used in statue 250,000 pounds 113.4 metric tonnes
Total weight of statue 450,000 pounds 204.1 metric tonnes
Thickness of copper sheeting 3/32 of an inch 2.4 mm

Depictions

Hundreds of replicas of the Statue of Liberty
Replicas of the Statue of Liberty
Hundreds of smaller replicas of the Statue of Liberty have been created worldwide.-Pont de Grenelle:This second Statue of Liberty in Paris is near the Grenelle Bridge on the Île aux Cygnes, a man-made island in the river Seine , 11.50 m high. Inaugurated on July 4, 1889, it looks southwest,...

 are displayed worldwide. 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. A replica 30 feet (9.1 m) tall stood atop the Liberty Warehouse on West 64th Street in Manhattan for many years; it now resides at the Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Museum
The Brooklyn Museum is an encyclopedia art museum located in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. At 560,000 square feet, the museum holds New York City's second largest art collection with roughly 1.5 million works....

. In a patriotic tribute, the Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related divisions...

, as part of their Strengthen the Arm of Liberty
Strengthen the Arm of Liberty
The Boy Scouts of America celebrated their fortieth anniversary in 1950 with the theme of Strengthen the Arm of Liberty. The campaign was inaugurated in February with a dramatic ceremony held at the base of the Statue of Liberty....

 campaign in 1949–1952, donated about two hundred replicas of the statue, made of stamped copper and 100 inches (254 cm) in height, to states and municipalities across the United States. Though not a true replica, the statue known as the Goddess of Democracy
Goddess of Democracy
The Goddess of Democracy , and the Goddess of Liberty , was a 10-meter-tall statue created during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.The statue was constructed in only four days out of foam and papier-mâché over a metal armature...

 temporarily erected during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident in Chinese , were a series of demonstrations in and near Tiananmen Square in Beijing in the People's Republic of China beginning on 15 April 1989...

 was similarly inspired by French democratic traditions—the sculptors took care to avoid a direct imitation of the Statue of Liberty. 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 & Casino
New York-New York Hotel & Casino
New York-New York Hotel & Casino is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip at 3790 Las Vegas Boulevard South, in Paradise, Nevada. It is owned and operated by MGM Resorts International.-Description:...

 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Nevada and is also the county seat of Clark County, Nevada. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous...

.

As an American icon, the Statue of Liberty has been depicted on the country's stamps and coinage. It appeared on commemorative coins issued to mark its 1986 centennial, and on New York's 2001 entry in the state quarters series. An image of the statue was chosen for the American Eagle platinum bullion coins
American Platinum Eagle
The American Platinum Eagle is the official platinum bullion coin of the United States. The coins were first released by the United States Mint in 1997. It is offered in 1/10, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 troy oz varieties and consists of .9995 fine platinum...

 in 1997, and it appears on the reverse, or "tails", side of the currently issued series of Presidential Dollar circulating coins. Two images of the statue's torch appear on the current ten-dollar bill
United States ten-dollar bill
The United States ten-dollar bill is a denomination of United States currency. The first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, is currently featured on the obverse of the bill, while the U.S. Treasury is featured on the reverse. The United States ten-dollar bill ($10) is a...

. The statue's intended photographic depiction on a 2010 forever stamp proved instead to be of the replica at the Las Vegas casino.

Depictions of the statue have been used by many regional institutions. Between 1986 and 2000, New York State issued license plates featuring the statue
Vehicle registration plates of New York
New York first issued license plates in 1910. Plates are currently issued by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.-Passenger baseplates 1957 to present:-1986: Statue of Liberty:...

. The Women's National Basketball Association
Women's National Basketball Association
The Women's National Basketball Association is a women's professional basketball league in the United States. It currently is composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 24, 1996 as the women's counterpart to the National Basketball Association...

's New York Liberty
New York Liberty
The New York Liberty is a professional basketball team based in New York City, playing in the Eastern Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association . The team was one of the eight original franchises of the league...

 use both the statue's name and its image in their logo, in which the torch's flame doubles as a basketball. The New York Rangers
New York Rangers
The New York Rangers are a professional ice hockey team based in the borough of Manhattan in New York, New York, USA. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . Playing their home games at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers are one of the...

 of the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 depicted the statue's head on their third jersey
Third jersey
A third jersey or alternate jersey is a sports team's alternate and/or throwback design for the previously established other two jerseys, the home and away outfits. Alternate jerseys are used in all four of the North American major professional sports leagues as well as college sports, semipro...

, beginning in 1997. The National Collegiate Athletic Association
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...

's 1996 Men's Basketball Final Four
1996 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
The 1996 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 64 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 14, 1996, and ended with the championship game on April 1 at Continental Airlines Arena in...

, played at New Jersey's Meadowlands Sports Complex, featured the statue in its logo.

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
Toby Keith
Toby Keith Covel , best known as Toby Keith, is an American country music singer-songwriter, record producer and actor. Keith released his first four studio albums — 1993's Toby Keith, 1994's Boomtown, 1996's Blue Moon and 1997's Dream Walkin, plus a Greatest Hits package for various divisions of...

's song "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American)", and in opposition, appearing on the cover of The Dead Kennedys' album Bedtime for Democracy
Bedtime for Democracy
Bedtime for Democracy is the fourth album released by Dead Kennedys. Songs on this album cover such common punk subjects as conformity, Reaganomics, the military, and even criticizing aspects of their own punk movement. The title of the album is a reference to the 1951 comedy film, Bedtime for...

, which protested the Reagan administration's policies. In film, the torch is the setting for the climax of director Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE was a British film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood...

's 1942 movie Saboteur
Saboteur (film)
Saboteur is a 1942 Universal film directed by Alfred Hitchcock with a screenplay written by Peter Viertel, Joan Harrison, and Dorothy Parker. The movie stars Priscilla Lane, Robert Cummings, and Norman Lloyd...

. The statue makes one of its most famous cinematic appearances in the 1968 picture Planet of the Apes
Planet of the Apes (1968 film)
Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, based on the 1963 French novel La Planète des singes by Pierre Boulle. The film stars Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly and Linda Harrison...

, in which it is seen half-buried in sand. It is destroyed in the science-fiction films Independence Day
Independence Day (film)
Independence Day is a 1996 science fiction film about an alien invasion of Earth, focusing on a disparate group of individuals and families as they converge in the Nevada desert and, along with the rest of the human population, participate in a last-chance counterattack on July 4 – the same...

, The Day After Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow is a 2004 American science-fiction disaster film that depicts the catastrophic effects of global warming in a series of extreme weather events that usher in global cooling which leads to a new ice age. The film did well at the box office, grossing $542,771,772 internationally...

, and Cloverfield
Cloverfield
Cloverfield is a 2008 American disaster-monster film directed by Matt Reeves, produced by J. J. Abrams and written by Drew Goddard.The film follows six young New Yorkers attending a going-away party on the night that a gigantic monster attacks the city...

. In Jack Finney
Jack Finney
Jack Finney was an American author. His best-known works are science fiction and thrillers, including The Body Snatchers and Time and Again. The former was the basis for the 1956 movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers and its remakes.-Biography:Finney was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and given the...

's time-travel novel Time and Again
Time and Again (novel)
Time and Again is a 1970 illustrated novel by Jack Finney. The many illustrations in the book are real, though, as explained in an endnote, not all are from the 1882 period in which the actions of the book take place. It had long been rumored that Robert Redford would convert the book into a movie...

, the right arm of the statue, on display in the early 1880s in Madison Square Park, plays a crucial role. Robert Holdstock
Robert Holdstock
Robert Paul Holdstock was an English novelist and author best known for his works of Celtic, Nordic, Gothic and Pictish fantasy literature, predominantly in the fantasy subgenre of mythic fiction....

, consulting editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is an English language reference work on science fiction.- Publication history :The first edition, edited by Peter Nicholls with John Clute and Brian Stableford appeared in 1979, published by Granada. It was retitled The Science Fiction Encyclopedia in the US...

, 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 [E]arth—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."

External links

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