Statue of Liberty

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Statue of Liberty – A History

Can there be any more iconic New York monument than the Statue of Liberty? It stands at the entrance to the Big Apple as some declaration of what the nation expects it’s visitors to honour, the moral and ethical code that are an ideal for the peoples to live by. And, this monument has been gracing the entrance for many years. If asked how it came to be here, what would our answer be?

The historical record says that the statue of liberty was created by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, and was dedicated on October 28, 1886. It,however, harks back to a different date, July 4 1776. How so? Her left hand carries what is known as a tabula ansata, kind of a tablet(in English). The tablet has an inscription on it, which is the date mentioned, July 4 1776, however, the date is in Roman numberals. Why does the statue of liberty highlight this date? As any self respecting citizen of the U.S. will tell you, this is the date of the U.S. declaration of independence.

Now, as we may notice, Mr Bartholdi doesn’t exactly have a typical U.S. name. And the reason for this is because he wasn’t from the United States. He actually was a French sculptor, born in Colmar, France on April 2, 1834. Even France wasn’t his heritage, since his heritage came from Italy and Germany. Despite this, Frederic championed the idea to apply the thoughts of Édouard René de Laboulaye, a French politician and professor of law. Laboulaye voiced the opinion that any monument dedicated to  U.S. independence should really be a joint venture between the people of France and the U.S. Laboulaye’s thoughts were expressed in 1865, however it was years later, the early 1870’s that the wheels started turning on the project, and, in 1875, a suggestion was heralded that the French finance the project and the U.S. prepare the pedestal for where the monument would rise.

Despite this idea that the French would finance the project, finance actually became hard to secure. In an effort to garner support, Bartholdi copleted the head and torch bearing arms, which he displayed at international expositions. Even after all this hard work, the finances required for the project continued to be hard to source, and, in 1885, the project was almost at an end. Specifically, the main issue now proved to be not so much the French financing of the statue, but rather U.S. funding for the pedestal.

Without the tireless support of those involved, who knows what would have become of, what is now, an internationally acclaimed monument to history. This unceasing ambition led to a further effort to secure funds, when Joseph Pulitzer(Pulitzer Prizes fame) began a drive for donations, eventually securing 120,000 donors who each  averaged less than a dollar in contributions. Whilst the level of donations might appear to be somewhat low, eventually the project got over the line, resulting in the statue being shipped from France in crates and put together on the pedestal(that the U.S. had been responsible for). This pedestal was on Bedloe’s island(or as it was known then!).

In an inauguration befitting a lady, the resulting ticker tape parade announced to the world that the monument would, from this point on, prove to be one of the most symbolic icons of the U.S. and the world. President Grover Cleveland presided over the celebrations.

Statue of Liberty – How To Visit

Tickets to visit can be purchased from nps.gov. The main costs involved are the ferry fees which are $18.50 for Adults(13 years and older), $14 for seniors(62 years and over), and $9 for children of 4 to 12 years( under 4 years of age is free).

After the ferry fees, the crown access fees are $3 for everyone, with the exception of under 4’s, who are restricted from this area. The $3 fee also includes Ranger tours and Audio tours.

 

Statue of Liberty – A Summary

If we were to think that a visit to the Statue of Liberty is an extremely touristy thing to do, we would be correct. However, a visit goes way beyond just a snap and smile photo op, it is a chance to visit history, a history that has endured two world wars, a cold war, changing times, values and character. So, when a visit to the Big Apple is planned, it would be a missed opportunity if the La Liberté éclairant le monde(Statue of Liberty) was not on our schedule. That’s why, we, at window cleaning Subiaco definitely intend to give it a visit!

 

 

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