The Statue of Liberty

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In this June 2, 2009 photo, the Statue of Liberty is seen in New York harbor. The crown is set to open July 4 after being closed since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    One of the most famous monuments in the world, the Statue of Liberty, was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States on the centenary of American independence. It is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986.

    Made in Paris by the French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, in collaboration with Gustave Eiffel (who was responsible for the steel framework). The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata – a tablet evoking the law – upon which  is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet.

    Before it could be transported to the United States, a site had to be found for it and a pedestal had to be built. The site chosen was an island at the entrance of New York Harbor. By, 1884, a statue which was 151 feet tall had been erected in Paris. In order to transport the statue to America, the figure was disassembled into 350 pieces and packed in 214 crates. Four months later, it was reassembled on Bedloe’s Island (renamed Liberty Island in 1956).

    On October 28, 1886, the statue had been put together again and it was officially presented to the American people by Bartholdi. President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty before thousands of spectators. Ever since, the great monument has been a symbol of liberty for the millions of people who have passed through New York Harbor to make their homes in America.

    Liberty Enlightening the World, the official name of the Statue of Liberty, was extensively restored in time for the spectacular centennial of American independence on 4 July 1986, for whom it symbolized the ideals of Washington and Lincoln. It has continued to inspire people across the world.

Source: Inglês na ponta da língua