If you have ever been to New York or are planning to go there, getting clicked with the iconic Statue of Liberty must be on your wish list. Am I right? Its one of the cliche things all the tourists love to do. But, have you ever thought that whats there in this ladys statue that makes it iconic? Each thing is unique in its own way, and this Statue is the esteem of whole of New York so there have to be stories behind its origin, and meaning in its construction. And, in this write-up, I have tried to decipher every bit of it for you. Have a read:
You won't believe but the idea behind the development of Statue of Liberty is to use it as a lighthouse though it proved to be futile that way. This statue was the hobbyhorse of Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, a French sculptor, who as a youngster visited Egypt and took inspiration from the statuary there to build a colossus. Also, the man behind romantic Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel has his hands in the design of Lady Liberty's spine i.e. 4 iron columns perched on a metal framework that holds the 3/32ths inch thick copper skin.
Building this colossal Statue of Liberty took funds from both the French and Americans, and the construction was completed after spending the pedestal amount of over US$500,000, which is over US$10m in today's worth. In 1886, it was acknowledged to be the tallest iron structure built till that date. It is said that 300 diverse hammers were used to create the copper structure, and the statue's face has a resemblance to the sculptors mother, Charlotte. Also, in 1984, the original torch of the statue was replaced by a new copper torch swathed in 24 carat gold leaf. On the bronze plaque sited near the lower level of statue's pedestal, the poem of Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus (1883) is engraved.
The Statue of Liberty, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, holds a lot of significance in the historical context. The torch and tablet held by it are emblazoned with the date of American Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776). Also, it is the first thing that is noticed by the travelers arriving at the United States from the sea route thus, becoming a symbol of immigration during the second half of the 19th century, and till the date.
Bartholdi, the brain behind the Statue of Liberty, wanted this statue to be of gold and has never imagined that their copper creation is going to turn green eventually. In the 1980s, the Statue suffered galvanic corrosion, meaning it had turned into a giant battery due to its paint and metal being exposed to salt water. Also, the strong Lady Liberty has been hit by over 600 lightning bolts every year since its construction, and yet it stands steadfast. Such spirits!
You might not be aware but the full name of Statue Of Liberty is Liberty Enlightening the World. The robed female figure is the manifestation of the Roman goddess of freedom, Libertas. The 7 spikes on the crown are the representation of the 7 seas and 7 continents of the world signifying the universal concept of liberty. Although the feet of the Lady Liberty is not discernible clearly, but a close look will show a broken shackle and chains, and a raised right foot, giving a picture of movement away from oppression and slavery.
There are certain myths surrounding the Statue of Liberty like it's a gift from the French government to the American government, which is absolutely baseless. Moreover, the underwater portion of Liberty Island, where the Statue of Liberty perches upon, is the fraction of New Jersey, not New York.
Many African Americans see the Lady Liberty as the ironic image of America that talk of the abolition of slavery and oppression, professes a country of freedom and justice for everyone regardless of race though there is a prevalence of so much discrimination against race.
At the end of it, let me amaze you with one more secret, theres a family that lives on Liberty Island, home of the Statue of Liberty. These were just a few of the secrets hidden in this iconic structure, a lot more are to be revealed
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