The Statue of Liberty – Her Story

by Rosemarie John on January 31, 2012

An imposing figure in the New York Harbour, The Statue of Liberty was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States on the centenary of American independence in 1886. Friendship that was established during the American Revolution. Over time it has become a symbol of freedom and democracy. In French, the statue is called La Liberté éclairant le monde which translates to “Liberty Enlightening the World”.

Here are some fun facts about her:

  • Officially dedicated on Thursday, October 28, 1886
  • Total overall height from base of the pedestal foundation to the tip of the torch is 305 feet and 6 inches
  • Height of the statue from her heel to the top of her head is 111 feet and 6 inches
  • Her face measures more than 8 feet tall
  • There are 154 steps from the pedestal to the head of the statue
  • The tablet held in her left hand is inscribed with the date of the American Declaration of Independence – July 4, 1776
  • The statue has a 35-foot waistline
  • There are seven rays on her crown, one for each of the seven continents, each measuring up to 9 feet in lenght and weighing as much as 150 pounds

  • Total weight of the Statue of Liberty is 225 tons or 450,000 pounds
  • At her feet lie broken shackles of oppression and tyranny
  • During restoration in 1986, the new torch was covered with thin sheets of 24 karat gold
  • The exterior copper covering the statue is 3/32 of an inch thick (less than the thickness of two pennies)
  • The light green colour called “patina” is the result of natural weathering of copper
  • The Statue of Liberty was made by French sculptor Bartholdi, in collaboration with Gustave Eiffel who was responsible for the steel framework
  • The island she has made home was originally called Bedloe’s however in 1956, the island’s name was changed to Liberty Island
  • The statue was extensively restored in time for the spectacular centennial of American independence on July 4, 1986 for whom it symbolized the ideals of Washington and Lincoln. It has continued to inspire people across the world

Travel Advisory: The statue, including the pedestal and base, closed on October 29, 2011 (the day after celebrations to mark the statue’s 125th anniversary), for installation of new elevators and staircases, and to bring other facilities, such as restrooms, up to code.  Although the statue is closed to the public for up to a year, Liberty Island remains open.

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