History Of The Statue Of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty represents Libertas, the Roman Goddess of Liberty. She is holding a torch and a tablet with the date of the US Declaration of Independence. She is dressed in a robe, wears a crown, and has a broken chain at her feet. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the United States. It was designed by the sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel in 1886. The US designed and paid for the granite and concrete foundation.
In transit, the statue was broken down into 350 pieces and stored in 214 crates. It took four months to put together on its pedestal in Liberty Island, previously known as Bedloe’s Island, in New York Harbor. Today, the statue is a famous American landmark that receives millions of tourists annually.
Facts About The Statue
This copper statue stands at 151 feet and 1 inch. Its pedestal adds another 154 feet, making the torch reach 305 feet. The statue is made of 250,000 pounds of steel, 62,000 pounds of copper, and has a pedestal that weighs 54 million pounds. In strong winds, the Statue of Liberty can give way up to 3 inches, and the torch can sway up to 6 inches. This flexibility prevents it from being damaged during storms. The torch is no longer the original one. It was replaced in 1986 by a 24-carat gold-covered copper flame.
The exact name of the statue is “Liberty Enlightening the World.” It was originally intended to represent the liberty that both the US and France hoped for in the world. The crown consists of 7 points, which were meant to represent the seven continents and seven seas of the world. Over the years, the statue has become something more meaningful. It was the first thing that approximately 12 million immigrants saw before arriving on the shores of the United States between 1892 and 1943. Today, the Statue of Liberty represents freedom, democracy, hope, and opportunity.
The Statue of Liberty is made of 3/32-inch thick sheets of copper, the size of 2 US pennies stacked together. In fact, copper is the same material used to make pennies. When the statue was first inaugurated, its appearance was a dark-brownish metallic color.
Over the next three decades, the statue slowly began to change color. Currently, the Statue of Liberty is green in color. How did this happen? The air and water reacted with the copper metal and resulted in oxidation. This oxidation created a layer of patina, a copper carbonate. This does not harm the statue and actually helps to protect the copper sheets below.
Visiting The Statue Of Liberty
Access to Liberty Island can only be attained via a paid ferry service from the mainland. A security screening is performed before boarding. Entrance to the statue is free. Once on the island, tourists can visit the pedestal and its museum or climb the staircase to the crown, which requires a second security check. The museum offers exhibits about the history and symbolism of the statue with photographs, video, and historical objects.
About the Author
Amber is a freelance writer, English as a foreign language teacher, and Spanish-English translator. She lives with her husband and 3 cats.
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