For travel-weary immigrants approaching New York Harbor, the first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty was an emotional experience remembered for life. Fittingly, engraved on the base of this monumental statue are the words from Emma Lazarus's poem, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
Designed by French sculptor, Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, the statue was intended as a monument to the freedom found lacking in his own country of France. Bartholdi said, "I will try to glorify the Republic and Liberty over there, in the hope that someday I will find it again here." Bartholdi used his own mother as the model for the statue and devoted 21 years of his life to the making of the monument. Gustave Eiffel, who later designed the Eiffel Tower, designed the frame. Lady Liberty, as the statue is sometimes called, was a gift from the French commemorating the American Revolution. The statue was unveiled on October 28, 1886, by President Grover Cleveland. Previously, the statue had been a fixture in Paris before it found its way to its present home on Bedloe's Island, now known as Liberty Island. In 1986 the statue underwent extensive restoration at a cost of $69.8 million dollars. A new gold torch was added replacing the corroded original (the original is on display in the main lobby). The torch was coated with 24-carat gold leaf. The Statue of Liberty is recognized as a symbol of freedom throughout the world. Some interesting facts:
Height: 305 feet (93 m). 354 steps lead from the entrance to the crown. The seven rays of Lady Liberty's crown represent the seven seas and seven continents. The pedestal is set within the walls of an army fort. It was the largest concrete mass ever poured. There are 25 windows in the crown, which symbolize 25 gemstones found on the earth. The tablet, which the statue holds in her left hand, reads (in Roman numerals) "July 4th, 1776.".
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Statue of Liberty - Socha slobody (New York)
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