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Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty
NameStatue of Liberty
LocationLiberty Island
New York City, New York, U.S.
Lat Degrees40
Lat Minutes41
Lat Seconds21
Lat DirectionN
Long Degrees74
Long Minutes2
Long Seconds40
Long DirectionW
Coord Parametersregion:US-NY_type:landmark_scale:5000
LocmapinNew York City
Map CaptionLocation of Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor
Height151 feet 1 inch (46 meters)
Ground to torch: 305 feet 1 inch (93 meters)
Beginning LabelDedicated
Beginning DateOctober 28, 1886
Restored1938, 1984 � 1986
SculptorFrédéric Auguste Bartholdi
Visitation Num3.2 million
Visitation Year2009
Governing BodyU.S. National Park Service
Designation1 Date1984 (8th session)
Designation1 TypeCultural
Designation1 Criteriai, vi
Designation1 Number307
Designation1 Free1nameState Party
Designation1 Free1valueUnited States
Designation1 Free2nameRegion
Designation1 Free2valueEurope and North America
Designation2 OffnameStatue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Island and Liberty Island
Designation2 DateOctober 15, 1966
Designation2 Number66000058
Designation3 DateOctober 15, 1924
Designation3 Free1nameDesignated by
Designation3 Free1valuePresident Calvin Coolidge
Designation4NYC Landmark
Designation4 DateSeptember 14, 1976
Designation4 TypeIndividual

     Home | Historic Site | Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty ('Liberty Enlightening the World'; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue, a gift to the United States from the people of France, 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. The statue has become an icon of freedom and of the United States.

Bartholdi was inspired by French law professor and politician Édouard René de Laboulaye, who commented in 1865 that any monument raised to American independence would properly be a joint project of the French and American peoples. Due to the troubled political situation in France, work on the statue did not commence until the early 1870s. In 1875, Laboulaye proposed that the French finance the statue and the Americans provide the pedestal and the site. Bartholdi completed both the head and the torch-bearing arm before the statue was fully designed, and these pieces were exhibited for publicity at international expositions. The arm was displayed in New York's Madison Square Park from 1876 to 1882. Fundraising proved difficult, especially for the Americans, and by 1885 work on the pedestal was threatened due to lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer of the World started a drive for donations to complete the project, and the campaign inspired over 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar. The statue was constructed in France, shipped overseas in crates, and assembled on the completed pedestal on what was then called Bedloe's Island. The statue's completion was marked by New York's first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland.

The statue was administered by the United States Lighthouse Board until 1901 and then by the Department of War; since 1933 it has been maintained by the National Park Service. The statue was closed for renovation for much of 1938. In the early 1980s, it was found to have deteriorated to such an extent that a major restoration was required. While the statue was closed from 1984 to 1986, the torch and a large part of the internal structure were replaced. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, it was closed for reasons of safety and security; the pedestal reopened in 2004 and the statue in 2009, with limits on the number of visitors allowed to ascend to the crown. The statue, including the pedestal and base, is scheduled to close for up to a year beginning on October 29, 2011, so that a secondary staircase and other safety features can be installed; Liberty Island will remain open. Public access to the balcony surrounding the torch has been barred for safety reasons since 1916.

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