Wednesday, December 1

The Statue of Liberty is 135 years old, the most universal icon of the United States and immigration

Statue of Liberty, a symbol of immigration in the USA

Lars Niki/Getty Images for Old Navy

Without imagining it, France gave the US what has become its most universal icon: the “Statue of Liberty.” located between the coasts of New York and Jersey, at the mouth of the Hudson River.

Today October 28 marks the 135th anniversary of its inauguration in 1886, in the presence of then-President Grover Cleveland. The statue is the work of the French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and the internal structure was designed by the engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, who later would also create the famous tower that bears his name, in Paris.

Years later, as his fame grew as a humanistic symbol and tourist attraction, October 15, 1924 the “Statue of Liberty” was declared a national monument. And since 1984 it is considered Heritage of humanity by unesco.

“For many the Statue of Liberty… is an enduring symbol of the idea that America is a nation of immigrants. The Lady Liberty torch was the first US image for millions of immigrants to Ellis Island ”for decades, Reece Jones, chair of the Department of Geography and Environment at the University of Hawaii, wrote yesterday.

But “The transformation of the meaning of the Statue of Liberty illustrates how Americans often misremember our history. The original purpose of the statue was to commemorate the end of slavery and the centenary (of independence) of the country. It had nothing to do with immigration, ”Jones added in his article for CNN.

“The statue symbolizes freedom and light throughout the world ”, commented in June Olivier Faron, general administrator of the “Conservatoire national des arts et métiers” of Paris (CNAM), on the occasion of sending a small reply to the residence of the French ambassador in Washington DC.

The “Statue of Liberty” was first conceived by a French historian in 1865 as a gift to the United States after the end of the Civil War: the broken chains and shackles on his foot symbolize the abolition of slavery, he remembered New York Post.

It was President Ulysses Grant who agreed that the copper statue would be placed in New York Harbor, where it would serve as a beacon of hope for all the ships that arrived in the city. A) Yes, it would soon become a symbol of immigration as well as freedom.

The work of 225 tons It was shipped and assembled in 1885 before being dedicated by President Cleveland the following year. Despite appearances, the “Statue of Liberty” has not been washed in over 130 years. precisely its iconic green color is actually the direct result of a lack of water, beyond the natural discharges of rain, wind, saltpeter and snow.

It is also one of the most desired destinations to travel and photograph in domestic and international tourism. Before the pandemic, annual visitors exceeded 3 million.

its official website and Twitter offer the most up-to-date information to set sail for “Liberty” Island and enter the interior of the statue, avoiding harassment and “tricky” walks in Lower Manhattan. Another option to appreciate it from the river, not far and free, is taking the short tour of the ferry from Staten Island.

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