FAQ on the statue of Liberty


Frequently Asked Questions on the Statue of Liberty

Below are some answers to questions that arise on the Statue of Liberty.

Questions about the statue herself

The Statue of Liberty is a French production, it has been proposed in the United States in the name of brotherhood among peoples, start of construction so as to be delivered for the centenary of the Independence of the United States. The artist who was chosen was Auguste Bartholdi, a young sculptor who had already distinguished himself by performing some impressive statues and had among her papers the project of a monumental statue that he had already proposed to the Khedive Egypt, in the 70s was the Alsatian Auguste Bartholdi, Colmar.

Learn more about the origins of the statue.

She's in New York Bay, 2 km from the small southern Manhattan. It was placed here as Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor, thought it would give him international stature. In it, he was right because the port of New York has sent 40% of immigrants to the United States, which are passed nearby. This port was the gateway to the United States for nearly a century.

Learn more about l'its location.

This is a monumental statue, this term refers to very large statue. And indeed, it is very large. It measures 92m99 from the bottom of the pedestal at the top of the torch, height divided equally between the base (46m 94) and statue (46m 05). Its other dimensions are perhaps even more telling: the tablet is 7m19, nose 1m 37 and its biggest nail is 65cm long.

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It is impossible to know, there are too many. In France alone in this website lists 30. In the US, more than a hundred, and besides the statues set up by scouts in 1950 during Operation "Strengthening the arm of the freedom. "It was an operation initiated by a businessman from Kansas who was installed on many US territories replicas. There were 200, of which half is still in place today. Otherwise, there are copies of the Statue of Liberty in a very large number of countries: UK, Spain, Germany, India, China, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, etmême in Myanmar (Burma)!

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The statue itself is made of copper, but not in one piece, it would have been too complicated to carry it. It consists of over 300 different sized copper plates, each plate is 2,56mm thick. The plates were hammered until it takes the shape imposed by the artist, which was working many workers for this kind of work. Then they were joined by invisible rivets from the outside, except to approach the statue.

But the statue can not stand alone, it is held by a wrought iron architecture is this famous structure that was made by Gustave Eiffel, a few years before he makes known for its famous tower. The Eiffel iron beams hold the copper plates in position, even in strong winds, because there is a certain resilience overall. It should be noted that in 1986 for the centenary of the statue, the Eiffel structure was completely removed and replaced by another stainless steel structure, more solid and above which will hold better over time.

Learn more about then construction of the statue.

We do not know! The model of the statue probably never existed, at least there was never any mention of a girl who would have taken the break to model the body and the face of the statue. In no guarantees that this is the mother of the artist, but it is a possibility to be taken with caution, as it is stated mainly because Augustus had a symbiotic relationship with her mother. But it is not there a woman's face that sixty years ... It is more likely that the severity, the serenity of this face was simply invented.

Learn more about the sources of inspiration for the statue.

This is a US public body, of course. The Statue of Liberty belongs to the "National Park Service" since 10 June 1933. He is a US federal agency in charge of protection of national parks, national monuments, and other historic sites of national interest. It is classified in 1924 "National Monument" of the United States, and it was recorded in 1966 to the National Register of Historic Places, still the US of course. In 1976 she entered the notable sites in New York and since 1984 it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Learn more about the l'history of the statue.

Not at all. She even dwarf figure compared to other monumental sculptures. Pending future Indian statue that will be the largest of the World, currently the largest measuring 128m high, triple the Statue of Liberty. She is Chinese. There is considerable higher than 50m monumental statue in the world, many in Asia, but others are in Russia or in former communist countries.

There were several. The choice of a female character, neo-classical style was surprising because the romance was an aesthetic trend that had been ongoing for several more years. This movement had provided many women models holding an object in the air, to enforce a particular theme. The Niccolini memorial is a good example (see link below). But of course the main model of the Statue of Liberty is the Colossus of Rhodes, gigantic statue built in the third century BC on the island of Rhodes. The statue was a representation the Sun God Helios, invariably represented with a sunlight wreath bearing the head, just like our statue. It's also not the only common point between the two.

Learn more about the Sources of inspiration for the statue of Liberty.

Questions about the pedestal

He is an architect in vogue at that time in New York, the architect of the wealthy families of the East Coast. Her name was Richard Moris Hunt. It was he who made the plans, proposed her vision of the base, chose her neoclassical and directed the construction. He involves a civil engineer who was responsible for the technical part. He chose Charles Pomeroy Stone, who was an acquaintance of Hunt, they had already had the opportunity to work together in the past.

Learn more about Morris Hunt.

It is hollow as can be expected, and contains the museum of the statue. In fact, when we say we visit the Statue of Liberty is the base we visit. It contains a very wide staircase that recent to mount the 7 floors after which you reach the observatory, a large balcony that runs around the base. On the top floor there is a glass ceiling that can see inside the statue, its frame, copper plates, fastening systems, and very narrow spiral staircase that rises to the crown. Fort Wood, himself, who serves as the foundation to the base contains the museum itself, with its halls of expostion where you can see a whole bunch of objects from the construction or her post.

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There were several course materials but the stone used on the outside, the open outlet to sea wind, which comes from the Connecticut Beattie quarry is located, a granite quarry in vogue in the late nineteenth century. It is located by the sea, allowing the transport of stone blocks carved by sea.

Learn more about the origin of the granitic rocks of the pedestal.

Questions about the history of the statue

It is a French politician, Edouard de Laboulaye. Historian, jurist, he studied the United States and concluded that they had a particularly effective democracy, he made up her mind to bring the two countries at the time, in France, the authoritarian regime of Napoleon III's French bridled . This is to highlight the Freedom of the people he contemplated build this statue, he immediately proposed to set up in New York, the main port of America and almost mandatory entry point for every migrant.

Learn more about Edouard de Laboulaye.

The construction of the Statue of Liberty was of course a long process. If the idea of the gift from France to the United States was raised in 1865, the first work began in 1876 and lasted until 1884, the assembly in Paris. The base, it was later, it was not completed until 1885, a year before the inauguration of the statue in New York!

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For French, yes. For US, no. But it was not due to technical problems or a lack of skills, it was just that the United States, themselves, had requested anything, he was offered a terribly cumbersome gift, with the charge to build a overweening base. So they were not so pressed it to pay for its construction ... which slowed down the implementation of the statue arrived in time to New York, she. Initially it was planned to make the inauguration July 4, 1876, exactly 100 years after the Declaration of Independence of the United States. In practice, the inauguration took him October 16, 1886, or with 10 years late.

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It took a lot of trick to build the statue, it is also a feature of the effectiveness of the French genius to have been able to resolve the various challenges that have arisen. Auguste Bartholdi started with a statue of 1m20, a basic model that expands to 2m40 and then 11m50. It cutted this great model portion and measured over the reference points in the three dimensions: height, width and length, using a plumb line. Then he multiplied by four such measures and made a template correpondant measures, coarse wood on which he poured plaster, so it takes the same shape as the portion. He smoothed plaster, remodeled to be sure to have the same shape, but four times larger. Finally, he built a wooden jig, but strong one, who married the plaster forms, but hollow. This is the template that was used to hammer the copper plates to make them take shape. It only remained to assemble it all with rivets on Gustave Eiffel structure.

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He comes from a mine in Norway, in the village of Visnes, on the island of Karmoy. It is on the west coast of Norway. In 1865, shortly before the start of the construction of the Statue of Liberty, it was discovered a large copper lode in the basement of the island. A French engineer then founded a mining company mined ore and sent in ore refineries. To be sure a laboratory compared samples of the statue and the ore extracted from the mine recently: They found the same impurities, proof of origin of copper.

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Funding was shared between the two countries: France has paid the statue, the United States paid the base. The French funding was expressed donations, often from individuals but also institutions such as town halls, councils. There were also companies that gave. The French funding was relatively fast because the promoters of the statue was playing on the patriotism, the greatness of France, the power of the French Technical Engineering. At that time, it was an important concept that federated crowds. American side financing was more problematic, because they did not ask and saw obliged to pay the pedestal. There were of course many other reasons for US reluctance, they are detailed in the link below.

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Since it is a gift from France to the United States, it was manufactured in France, more precisely in Paris and the inner suburbs. The scupteur, Bartholdi, delegated manufacturing workshops "Gaget, Ghautier and Cie", who had their workshops in an industrial area of the capital, which is currently close to the Parc Monceau. Once all the parts made the statue was set up to check that all was well, and for a few years could see the imposing mass of the Statue of Liberty spanning Paris ...

Learn more about the construction of the statue.

A trivial answer to this question could be: "Because they had asked nothing!". But the real reason is finer, more interesting. When the decision to build the statue was taken, it was the will of a group of French Republicans eager to highlight Liberty face the oppressors, hidden message not to the authoritarian government of Napoleon III. Its location in the United States was only the consequence of the fact that this country represented in the eyes of the ideal of the French republic, free and sovereign. When traveled to the United States in 1871 to find support for her project, he found the door closed, because nobody saw the interest of this statue there. The reasons were many:

  • The United States were in full industrial and economic growth, they were more focused on how to generate money on national emblems without real financial benefits.
  • The Americans came out of a civil war five years, the Civil War. South Proponents saw a dim view of the French Revolution of 1848 which had prohibited slavery, which depended Southerners. Proponents of the North, pro-German, were more related to Prussia that France, or the Franco-Prussian War had broken out and Prussia was victorious. They therefore do not see the value to ally with the losers.
  • Liberty was a notion pregnant in the United States, a country which at the time was less than 100 years was built on Liberty against the English, that notion was therefore natural for them, they thought not have to magnify it into a monument.
  • The cost of the base of the statue was high

He will have had the intervention of several celebrities to begin to launch a wave of accession to the project, including Pulitzer and Emma Lazarus.

Learn more about the reasons for rejection of the statue by the Americans.

We must distinguish the official reasons and the real reasons. And of course, there are many different reasons, but simply put, the official reason was to strengthen ties between France and the United States by magnifying the idea of freedom inherent to the Americans.

The real reason is more prosaic. In the years 1860-1870 the authoritarian government of Napoleon III was considered draconian by many French republicans. The struggle between Liberty and collective repression raged at every opportunity the force was employed in France. But a small group of Republicans, formed around Edouard de Laboulaye, future senator, had the idea of this statue to highlight Liberty in the worst form it could take for the government: a gift from France to United States. This private initiative therefore aimed to develop cantilever Napoleon III.

Learn more about the origin of the statue.

Questions on tour

There is a dealer who has the right to bring visitors to the feet of the Statue of Liberty is the transport company Statue Cruise. It is to her that you have to buy entrance tickets to the museum and access to the crown. It also allows movement between Manhattan (At Battery Park, at South), New Jersey (at Liberty State Park), Liberty Island and Ellis Island, where the Immigration Museum is located.

Learn more about how how going to the statue of Liberty.

It all depends on what you want to visit. A normal visit is to go on the island where the statue, go around, enter the fort Wood to visit the museum, climb up on the base to enjoy the view and see the inside of the statue through the glass ceiling. If you want to only go on the island, you will only pay the way, a bit like a bus. The museum visit requires a ticket, you preferentially buy over the Internet, directly on the dealer's website (see the link on the page below). You can buy it on the spot, but beware, there are very few on sale every day, and only the first arrived in the morning will buy. Once everything is gone, it's gone. And it goes fast! Even on the Internet, do you take them several weeks in advance.

You can also buy tickets to go up to the crown, by the narrow spiral staircase that goes up into the statue. For that, it is mandatory to go through the website.

Learn more about how to purchase tickets to the Statue of Liberty.

No, and it is voluntary. When you buy a ticket, it is to a certain date and a certain time, charge you to be on time. There time of visit, but also the time when you must go to the wharf because there is a draconnien security control to pass before you can go on the boat, that's why for visit to 14h, it requires you to present you sometimes 2 hours in advance. Get their confidence, they are used to.

Learn more about visiting the statue of Liberty.

Yes, you are even encouraged to do so. A typical visit consists of a walk to Liberty Island, the museum, the climb to the viewpoint of the pedestal, eventually rising to the crown, and a visit to Ellis Island and its fantastic museum of American immigration. That's pretty impressive, there is a large number of objects several times reflecting the past of this American institution, the front door of the United States.

Learn more about visiting the statue of Liberty.

Yes, but their size is strictly controlled. Security checks are serious, they only let anything that could be dangerous, and their notion of danger and wide enough. So if you can, take the bare minimum with you. At the starting point there are instructions ($ 2) to store luggage that you thought you could take with you. In the museum it is forbidden to bring food, so forget coolers too cumbersome. The cooler bags will probably not pass. No panic, to eat, there you need on site, of course.

Read more about the conditions for visiting the Statue of Liberty.

Casually, there are a lot of things to see, even if it is still not the Louvre, not ... Some windows show you the different stages of the construction of the statue, with the photos of the workshops of the time. (Well, you have the same pictures on this site, in the "construction of the statue" ...) There are templates that have been used to model one ear, and the foot of the statue. There is also a reproduction of the face of the statue, rather severe, and a large number of models, including one open on the back to see well the metal structure of Gustave Eiffel. Also seen many advertising items, those who have helped to secure funding, propaganda posters to encourage donations, replicas of various kinds, and a pedestal model proposed by Morris Hunt but he preferred reject. It is cylindrical, which is quite surprising nowadays.

The highlight of the visit will be of course the ride on the lookout at the top of the pedestal, on the outside, and the view of the inside of the statue through the glass ceiling. There is also the rise to the crown, for those who are booked in advance.

Yes quite. There are two perfectly distinct. The "New York City Pass" is planned for tourists coming for the first time in New York, it gives access to six emblematic sites considered hot spots in Miami. The "New York Pass", it is more general, it provides access to a plethora of more or less interest. So it is preferred by those who deepen the discovery of the city, going to museums less frequented for example.

Depending on what you want to do is up to you to choose the one that suits you best.

Learn more about Passes.

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