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NYC: Liberty Island - Statue of Liberty | by wallyg
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NYC: Liberty Island - Statue of Liberty

Liberty Enlightening the World (French: La liberté éclairant le monde), commonly known as the Statue of Liberty (French: Statue de la Liberté), has stood on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, welcoming visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans, since it was presented to the United States by the people of France. Dedicated on October 28, 1886, the gift commemorated the centennial of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence and has since become one of the most recognizable national icons--a symbol of democracy and freedom.

 

The 151-foot (46-meter) tall statue was sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and stands atop Richard Morris Hunt's 154-foot (93-meter) rectangular stonework pedestal with a foundation in the shape of an irregular eleven-pointed star. Maurice Koechlin, chief engineer of Gustave Eiffel's engineering company and designer of the Eiffel Tower, engineered the internal structure. Eugène Viollet-le-Duc was responsible for the choice of copper and adoption of the repoussé technique, where a malleable metal is hammered on the reverse side. The Statue of Liberty depicts a woman clad in Roman Stola and holding a torch and tablet, and is made of a sheeting of pure copper, hung on a framework of steel with the exception of the flame of the torch, which is coated in gold leaf.

 

Affectionately known as Lady Liberty, the figure is derived from Libertas, ancient Rome's goddess of freedom from slavery, oppression, and tyranny. Her left foot, fitted in Roman sandals, tramples broken shackles, symbolizing freedom from opression and tyranny, while her raised right foot symbolizes Liberty and Freedom refusing to stand still. Her torch signifies enlightenment. The tablet in her hand represents knowledge and shows the date of the Declaration of Independence--July 4, 1776. The seven spikes on the crown represent the Seven Seas and seven continents. Visually the the Statue of Liberty draws inspiration from the ancient Colossus of Rhodes of the Greek Sun-god Zeus or Helios, and is referred to in the 1883 sonnet The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus, which was later engraved inside.

 

The Statue of Liberty National Monument was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1976.

 

New Jersey State Register (1971)

National Register #66000058 (1966)

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Taken on June 11, 2005