Only 240 people are allowed up to the crown per day, so make sure you book. It’s 393 steps, but it’s also now wheelchair accessible. Enjoy the view
The Statue of Liberty is perhaps the defining image of the United States. Yet the colossal, neoclassical monument was actually built in France and shipped to New York in hundreds of pieces. It took four months to put her together. The statue is hollow, made of thinly pounded copper sheets bolted over a steel framework. Designed by sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi along with the engineer Gustave Eiffel, it was hailed as a new kind of union between art and engineering.
The figure is a robed female representing the Roman goddess Libertas. She’s 305 feet tall, wears a size 879 shoe and has a 35 foot waistline. Her torch shows liberty enlightening the world, and her tablet has the date of the American Declaration of Independent inscribed on it. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is clearly laden with symbolism and history.
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
The statue was presented by France to affirm the historical alliance between the two nations, but the pedestal was built by the Americans. It was financed with help from the publisher Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World, who started a drive for donations that resulted in more than 120,000 individually small, but collectively substantial, contributions. Which seems appropriate, given the statue is symbol of freedom and democracy.
A history of immigration
Besides liberty, the statue has also become a symbol of hope for immigrants, welcoming then into New York by sea for over one hundred years. An inscription by the poet Emma Lazarus, written for the statue, can be found on the pedestal: "Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
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