The Statue of Liberty is dressed in an ancient Greek robe; with a seven point spiked rays on her crown representing the seven continents and the four oceans. In her uplifted right hand holds a flaming torch symbolizing freedom, and in her left hand close to her body is a stone tablet bearing the words "July 4th 1776" , commemorating the date of the Declaration of Independence; at her feet are smashed handcuffs, shackles and chains. She represents liberty , escaping from the oppressions of tyranny.
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a statue of a woman on Liberty Island, in New York Harbour, given to the US by France in 1884 to celebrate the American and French revolutions. The woman is holding up a torch in her right hand and represents freedom.
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Out of all of America's symbols, none has proved more enduring or evocative than the Statue of Liberty. This giant figure, torch in hand and clutching a stone tablet, has for a century acted as a figurehead for the American Dream; indeed there is probably no more immediately recognizable profile in existence. It's worth remembering that the statue is - for Americans at least - a potent reminder that the USA is a land of immigrants: it was New York Harbor where the first big waves of European immigrants arrived, their ships entering through the Verrazano Narrows to round the bend of the bay and catch a first glimpse of "Liberty Enlightening the World" - an end of their journey into the unknown, and the symbolic beginning of a new life.
These days, although only the very wealthy can afford to arrive here by sea, and a would-be immigrant's first (and possibly last) view of the States is more likely to be the customs check at JFK Airport, Liberty remains a stirring sight, with Emma Lazarus's poem, The New Colossus, written originally to raise funds for the statue's base, no less quotable than when it was written…
Liberty Enlightening the World, known more commonly as the Statue of Liberty, is a statue given to the United States by France in the late 19th century, standing at Liberty Island in the mouth of the Hudson River in New York Harbor as a welcome to all visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans.
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The copper statue, dedicated on October 28, 1886, commemorates the centennial of the United States and is a gesture of friendship between the two nations. The sculptor was Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, and Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the Eiffel Tower, engineered the internal supporting structure. The Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable icons of the U.S. worldwide , and, in a more general sense, represents liberty and escape from oppression. The Statue of Liberty was, from 1886 until the Jet age, often the first glimpse of the United States for millions of American immigrants after ocean voyages from Europe.
The statue, which depicts Liberty throwing off her shackles and holding a beacon to light the world, was the creation of the French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who crafted it a hundred years after the American Revolution in recognition of solidarity between the French and American people (though it's fair to add that Bartholdi originally intended the statue for Alexandria in Egypt). Bartholdi built Liberty in Paris between 1874 and 1884, starting with a terracotta model and enlarging it through four successive versions to its present size, a construction of thin copper sheets bolted together and supported by an iron framework designed by Gustave Eiffel. The arm carrying the torch was exhibited in Madison Square Park for seven years, but the whole statue wasn't officially accepted on behalf of the American people until 1884, after which it was taken apart, crated up and shipped to New York.
It was to be another two years before it could be properly unveiled: money had to be collected to fund the construction of the base, and for some reason Americans were unwilling - or unable - to dip into their pockets. Only through the campaigning efforts of newspaper magnate Joseph Pulitzer, a keen supporter of the statue, did it all come together in the end. Richard Morris Hunt built a pedestal around the existing star-shaped Fort Wood, and Liberty was formally dedicated by President Cleveland on October 28, 1886, in a flag-waving shindig that has never really stopped. The statue was closed for a few years in the mid-1980s for extensive renovation and, in 1986, fifteen million people descended on Manhattan for the statue's centennial celebrations.
Today you can climb steps up to the crown, but the cramped stairway though the torch sadly remains closed to the public. Don't be surprised if there's an hour-long wait to ascend. Even if there is, Liberty Park's views of the lower Manhattan skyline, the twin towers of the World Trade Center lording it over the jutting teeth of New York's financial quarter, are spectacular enough.
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The Statue of Liberty was first assembled in Paris in 1884, then disassembled and reassembled in the United States at what is now called Liberty Island. Beginning in July 1981, a series of inspections was conducted by the National Park Service and by an International team of engineers and architects. Over a dozen problem areas needing attention were identified:
Rust stains on the exterior copper skin
Severe corrosion of some small areas of the copper skin
Deterioration of the torch
Degradation in the crown area and spikes
Structural concerns in the shoulder of the torch arm
Corrosion of the iron armature
Paint peeling on the interior copper skin and support structure
The problem that most necessitated the restoration of the Statue of Liberty was galvanic corrosion of the iron armature in contact with the copper skin. Galvanic corrosion occurs when dissimilar metals are in electrical contact in the same electrolyte. The difference in electrochemical potential between the dissimilar metals (iron and copper) is the driving force for electrolysis, whereby the armature, forming horizontal anodes at an accelerated rate. The iron armature, forming horizontal and vertical ribs against the copper skin, and the attachment mechanism, whereby copper saddles (which are flush riveted to the copper skin) surround the iron armature, provided a configuration conducive to galvanic corrosion.
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Since all of the iron armature was interconnected, only one location of physical contact to the copper skin was necessary to provide electrical continuity to the copper throughout the Statue. The designers of the Statue had tried to prevent this galvanic coupling by insulating the two materials with asbestos cloths soaked in shellac. This was only a temporary barrier that became porous with age and provided electrolytic continuity by wicking and capillary action. (reference)
In 1903 the last words in the sonnet "The New Colossus" by poet Emma Lazarus (1883) was inscribed at the main entrance to the pedestal:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"