Voices from Russia

Sunday, 28 October 2012

28 October 2012. RIA-Novosti Infographics. The Statue of Liberty: A Present from France to the People of America


The formal dedication of the Statue of Liberty took place on 28 October 1886, on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbour. This sculpture was a gift from the French people for the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, celebrated in 1876. It was late by ten years, but the symbolism of it wasn’t lost, for it became not only a navigational aid pointing the way to New York City, but also the main pictorial symbol of America.

French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi created the Statue of Liberty. Many believe that French beauty Isabella Eugenie Boyer, the wife of industrialist and inventor Isaac Singer, acted as the artist’s model for the famous sculpture. By mutual agreement, the USA would build the pedestal, and France would craft the sculpture and install it at its final destination. However, there was a lack of funds on both sides of the Atlantic. In France, charitable donations, along with various entertainment events and lotteries raised 2.25 million francs (1.125 million USD at the exchange rate of the time). In the USA, raising money wasn’t easy, so the promoters used theatrical performances, art exhibitions, auctions, and boxing matches to raise the funds needed. Financing for the pedestal was only complete in August 1885. On 17 June 1886, the statue was taken to New York on board the French frigate Isère disassembled in 350 pieces packed in 214 crates. For four months, workmen assembled the statue upon its new pedestal, and, in October 1886, in the presence of thousands of spectators, France officially donated the sculpture to the American people.

28 October 2012




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