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Art / Statue of Liberty
aka: Lady Liberty

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Liberty Enlightening the World...

"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus

The Statue of Liberty (full French name: La Liberté éclairant le mondeLiberty Enlightening the World) is a French statue given to the United States in 1886 to personify the freedom America offers.

A gift from the people of France (to celebrate the parallel fights for freedom of Colonial America and Revolutionary France, and having helped each other many times), the statue itself was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdinote . Bartholdi on a visit to America selected Bedloe's Island (known as Liberty Island today) in the bay of New York City as the location. The project often stalled for funding, and received contributions from many people in France and America. Engineering and construction was handled by several people. The final interior work was done by none other than Gustave Eiffel (yes, that one). The money for the statue came from several contributors, after a major drive by Joseph Pulitzer which caught people's imagination.

Properly building and setting up the statue took years; it became a project that attracted national interest. Pieces such as the arm and head were exposed to the public before installation. Naturally, there was a big celebration upon its conclusion.

The statue stands on a pedestal on Liberty Island, located just off the coast of Manhattan. It is highly visible from Ellis Island, where immigrants to the United States used to be processed before entering the country. It soon became a symbol for the immigrant story, leading to Emma Lazarus's poem on the subject to be engraved on the Statue itself. It stands alongside works like Michelangelo Buonarroti's David as one of the most influential sculptures in history.

She embodies similar ideals to Eugène Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People.

Lady Liberty has numerous smaller copies around the world, most famously the one in Las Vegas. There is of course one in Auguste Bartholdi's native city of Colmar.

To know how she's perceived in popular culture, please go to the analysis tab. Only list here examples concerning the Statue itself.

The Statue of Liberty provides examples of:

  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The statue was originally made of shining, reddish-brown copper, but the weather turned it green over the years. The public liked it that way so much that they resisted attempts to restore it.
  • Big Applesauce: What's the one city the personification of Liberty decided to settle down in? That's right, New York!
  • Breaking the Bonds: At the statue's left foot sits a broken shackle, showing the strength of liberty in defeating tyranny and slavery.
  • Cool Crown: The Statue of Liberty ironically wears a tiara, showing that the only supreme monarch for America is freedom from monarchs.
  • Eagleland: Type 1; the Statue symbolizes the opportunity America provides and its dedication to preserving human freedom. Even cynics get sentimental about it.
  • Expy:
    • The statue itself is likened by Emma Lazarus (who was indirectly involved in Lady Liberty's creation) to a modern version of the Colossus of Rhodes. Although with one major difference: the Greek Colossus commemorates defense against conquest, while Lady Liberty is depicted as a guardian standing by the Golden Door welcoming people to the New World. Incidentally, the Statue of Liberty has outlasted the original Colossus, which stood for only 54 years.
    • During The French Revolution, there were Dechristianization efforts that led to putting a statue of the Roman Goddess of Liberty on the altar of the Notre Dame Cathedral. The ideals it embodied would eventually crystallize in what we know today as the American Statue of Liberty.
  • Giant Woman: Lady Liberty's ginormous size serves two purposes — to be highly visible even from fairly far away in the sea and to exalt the role of freedom in society.
  • The High Queen: The Statue appropriates imagery associated with monarchs and emperors (the crown, the robes, and the tablet of law) to show that the best ruler for mankind is not a king, but a free people.
  • Holy Halo: Her crown gives off seven rays that act as a type of halo, showing Liberty's fundamental role in human life. The concept of freedom is the only goddess humans should worship.
  • Hope Bringer: Lady Liberty was gifted to commemorate that kind of freedom you can supposedly only find in the US. Therefore inspiring optimism in anyone who is enduring a tough situation both inside and outside America's borders.
  • An Immigrant's Tale: Implied. She was specifically placed on a harbor in Bedloe's Island to serve as a grandiose and reassuring greeting to any immigrant seeking a better life in the US.
  • Light Is Good: The Statue holds a torch to show that freedom is what enlightens the world. Without it, there's only hopelessness and oppression.
  • Nations as People: She represents the democracy of America, which offers the torch of enlightenment to all the "poor and huddled masses" of the world.
  • Red Baron: The poem The New Colossus, (the one on the plaque) gives her the epithet, "MOTHER OF EXILES".
  • Rule of Seven: In keeping with the theme of sanctity and holiness, there are seven rays coming from the Statue's head, the same as the Biblical number of perfection.
  • The Unfettered: A broken fetter sits at the statue's right foot and her right foot is raised to show that Liberty is constantly in motion and will not stop until all can be illuminated by her flame.

Alternative Title(s): Statue Of Liberty, Liberty Enlightens The World, Lady Liberty, Liberty Enlightening The World