The final model of the statue moved the broken chains beneath Lady Liberty’s feet, with a tablet that represented the rule of law placed in her hands instead.
The date of yank Independence, July 4, 1776, is written on the tablet in Roman numerals. The sculptor, Mr. Bartholdi, based the statue’s design on the Roman goddess Libertas, who is usually depicted wearing a Phrygian cap, traditionally worn by freed Roman slaves.
On a visit to the US, Mr. Bartholdi chose what was then Bedloe’s Island — it had been renamed Liberty Island in 1956 — due to its visibility to ships entering NY Harbor. The statue’s pieces were constructed in France within the 1870s and assembled and displayed in Paris from 1881 to 1884.
The smaller statue will have a way simpler journey to us than its larger predecessor, which stands 151-feet tall on top of a 154-foot-high pedestal. The 19th-century statue had to be taken apart to be shipped across the Atlantic, arriving in June 1885. Its pedestal was finished a year later, and its pieces reassembled around an iron frame. Finally, it opened to much fanfare on Oct. 28, 1886 — despite inclemency.
“The recent and large structures at the lower end of Manhattan Island, at a distance from which the small print are lost and therefore the outlines and much are alone visible, make NY a fit background for the foremost sumptuous aquatic spectacle,” The NY Times reported at the event.
About six years later, the govt opened Ellis Island, the inspection site that quite 12 million immigrants would undergo within the decades to return. Emma Lazarus’s famous poem “The New Colossus,” describing the statue welcoming the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” was affixed to the statue’s pedestal in 1903.
Jesse Brackenbury, president, and chief executive of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, said his organization was excited to be involved during a project celebrating America’s longstanding friendship with the people of France. “This educational exhibit is another great reason to go to Liberty and Ellis Islands around Independence Day before the crowds grow further,” he said.