The iconic Statue of Liberty, New York, USA is to America what the Eiffel Tower is to France – and that is an interesting fact in itself since the idea for the statue was conceived in France, the statue was made in France and one of the sculptors involved also was responsible for the Eiffel Tower.
Read about the French history of the Eiffel Tower
Read 20 fascinating facts about the Statue of Liberty:
1. The name given to the statue by the sculptor was La Liberté éclairant le monde, or “Liberty Enlightening the World”.
2. The robed female figure represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom hence the name Liberty.
3. The seven spikes on the crown represent the seven oceans and the seven continents of the world, indicating the universal concept of liberty.
4. The statue was a gift from France to America in 1886.
5. The interior iron structure was designed by Gustave Eiffel who later built the Eiffel Tower.
6. The sculptor Bartholdi who lived in Colmar, Alsace, is said to have modelled the statue’s face on that of his mother
7. At the time it was finished, the Statue of Liberty was the tallest iron structure ever built.
8. The statue in New York is 46 metres (151 ft) tall. The pedestal is 47 metres (154 ft) tall.
9. The Statue of Liberty holds a torch and tablet with the date July 4 1776 inscribed in Roman numerals: JULY IV MDCCLXXVI – the date of American Declaration of Independence
10. The crown of the statue has 25 windows and can be reached via 354 steps.
11. The statue originally functioned as a lighthouse (1886- 1902)
12. 50 mph winds cause the Statue to sway up to 3 inches and the torch up to 6 inches.
13. The Statue’s original torch was replaced by a new copper torch covered in 24K gold leaf which is lit by floodlight at night. The original torch is located in the lobby of the monument.
14. Length of the statue’s nose: 4’6″ (1.37m_
15. Index finger of the statue is: 8’0″ (2.44m)
16. The Statue of Liberty was designated a National Monument in 1924 and a World Heritage Site in 1984
17. There are seven spikes in the Statue of Liberty’s crown.
18. More than four million people visit the Statue of Liberty in New York each year.
19. The original statue stands in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris and a plaque states that it is a bronze model used by Bartholdi as part of the preparatory work for the New York statue.
20. There are hundreds of replica statues of liberty in the world on display in public places – all instantly recognisable.