Everyone knows about the famous Statue of Liberty in New York. However, you may be intrigued by the following 10 interesting facts about this symbol of freedom in the Big Apple:
- The Statue of Liberty, symbolizing the friendship between France and the United States, was the creation of politician Edouard de Laboulaye. Lady Liberty was originally supposed to be a gift from the French to the Americans for the 100 year anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence. However, the base of the statue was not yet completed thus, it was opened on Liberty Island in 1886, 10 years later than anticipated.
- Sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design the Statue of Liberty. The final touches were made in July 1884, 21 years later. He originally designed an enormous lighthouse in the form of a robed Egyptian woman holding a torch aloft for the Khedive of Egypt, which was consequently rejected. When France decided to present a gift to America, he seized his chance and brought out his original plans of this ancient Egyptian woman statue, which were approved.
- The steel structure was designed by French Engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, who, as his name suggests, designed the world famous Eiffel Tower in Paris.
- In 1984, the Statue of Liberty was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The statue represents Libertas (Latin for freedom), the Roman goddess of freedom, and broken shackles of oppression lie at her feet marking the end of slavery. In her right hand she holds aloft a torch, and in her left hand a tablet bearing the date of the American Declaration of Independence, the 4th of July 1776. Her crown features seven rays, one for each of the seven continents.
- The Statue of Liberty was immediately closed to the public following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and later to undergo renovations in 2011. It is set to reopen again this October the 28th 2012, on its 126th birthday.
- The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of democracy and freedom. She was the first thing that immigrants arriving in the New World by ship would see.
- The Ellis Island Immigration Museum, located on Ellis Island, was the former immigration station. Inside, visitors can discover the history of immigration to the United States, as well as learn about the construction of the statue itself.
- The Statue of Liberty stands a total of 93 metres high and weighs over 224 tons.
- In 1982 the statue underwent major renovations which included replacing the iron armature bars with stainless steel ones, amongst other very costly, complex and cumbersome tasks.
So, now you know! If you would like to see the Statue of Liberty for yourself then click here book one of our perfectly located New York apartments providing all the comforts you need during your stay in the Big Apple.