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July 27, 2013

Statue of Liberty Under Construction: See Incredible Photos of the Statue Being Built in a Paris Neighborhood

Made in Paris by the French sculptor Bartholdi, in collaboration with Gustave Eiffel (who was responsible for the steel framework), this towering monument to liberty was a gift from France on the centenary of American independence. Inaugurated in 1886, the sculpture stands at the entrance to New York Harbour and has welcomed millions of immigrants to the United States ever since.


The Statue of Liberty, a hollow colossus composed of thinly pounded copper sheets over a steel framework, stands on an island at the entrance to New York Harbor. It was designed by sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi in collaboration with engineer Gustave Eiffel, and was a gift from France on the centenary of American independence in 1876. Its design and construction were recognized at the time as one of the greatest technical achievements of the 19th century and hailed as a bridge between art and engineering. Atop its pedestal (designed by American architect Richard Morris Hunt), the Statue has welcomed millions of immigrants to the United States since it was dedicated in 1886.

The Statue is a masterpiece of colossal statuary, which found renewed expression in the 19th century, after the tradition of those of antiquity, but with intimations of Art Nouveau. Drawing on classical elements and iconography, it expressed modern aspirations. The interior iron framework is a formidable and intricate piece of construction, a harbinger of the future in engineering, architecture, and art, including the extensive use of concrete in the base, the flexible curtain-wall type of construction that supports the skin, and the use of electricity to light the torch.

Édouard René de Laboulaye collaborated with Bartholdi for the concept of the Statue to embody international friendship, peace, and progress, and specifically the historical alliance between France and the United States. Its financing by international subscription was also significant.

Highly potent symbolic elements of the design include the United States Declaration of Independence, which the Statue holds in her left hand, as well as the broken shackles from which she steps.

Drawing of the Statue of Liberty in Upper New York Bay.

Men in a workshop hammering sheets of copper for the construction of the Statue of Liberty.

Men in a workshop hammering sheets of copper for the construction of the Statue of Liberty.

View of the workshop, with models of the Statue of Liberty in the background.

Men at work on the construction of the Statue of Liberty.

Construction of the skeleton and plaster surface of the left arm and hand of the Statue of Liberty.

The external area of the workshop in Paris, including construction materials and the Statue head.

Scaffolding for the assemblage of the Statue of Liberty.

Assemblage of the Statue of Liberty in Paris, with the bottom half of the statue erect under scaffolding.

Assemblage of the Statue of Liberty in Paris.

Head of the Statue of Liberty on display in a park in Paris.

(Images: New York Public Library)






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