Liberty Enlightening the World (La liberté éclairant le monde), commonly known as the Statue of Liberty (Statue de la Liberté), was presented to the United States by the people of France in 1886.
Standing on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, it welcomes visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans. The copper-clad statue, dedicated on October 28 1886, commemorates the centennial of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence and is a gesture of friendship from France to the United States. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi sculpted the statue and obtained a U.S. patent for its structure. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (designer of the Eiffel Tower) engineered the internal structure. Eugène Viollet-le-Duc was responsible for the choice of copper in the statue's construction and adoption of the repoussé technique, where a malleable metal is hammered on the reverse side.
The statue is of a robed woman holding a torch, and is made of a sheeting of pure copper, hung on a framework of steel (originally puddled iron) with the exception of the flame of the torch, which is coated in gold leaf (originally made of copper and later altered to hold glass panes.) It stands atop a rectangular stonework pedestal with a foundation in the shape of an irregular eleven-pointed star. The statue is 151 ft (46 m) tall, but with the pedestal and foundation, it is 305 ft (93 m) tall.
Worldwide, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable icons of the United States, and, more generally, represents liberty and escape from oppression. The Statue of Liberty was, from 1886 until the jet age, often one of the first glimpses of the United States for millions of immigrants after ocean voyages from Europe. Visually, the Statue of Liberty appears to draw inspiration from il Sancarlone or the Colossus of Rhodes. The statue is a central part of Statue of Liberty National Monument, administered by the National Park Service.
The classical appearance (Roman stola, sandals, facial expression) derives from Libertas, ancient Rome's goddess of freedom from slavery, oppression, and tyranny. Her raised right foot is on the move. This symbol of Liberty and Freedom is not standing still or at attention in the harbor, it is moving forward, as her left foot tramples broken shackles at her feet, in symbolism of the United States' wish to be free from oppression and tyranny. Her torch signifies enlightenment. The tablet in her hand represents knowledge and shows the date of the United States Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.
The general appearance of the statue’s head approximates the Greek Sun-god Apollo or Helios as preserved on an ancient marble tablet (today in the Archaeological Museum of Corinth, Corinth, Greece) - Apollo was represented as a solar deity, dressed in a similar robe and having on its head a "radiate crown" with the seven spiked rays of the Helios-Apollo's sun rays, like the Statue's nimbus or halo. The ancient Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was a statue of Helios with a radiate crown. The Colossus is referred to in the 1883 sonnet The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus. Lazarus' poem was later engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the Statue of Liberty in 1903.
The statue, also known affectionately as "Lady Liberty", has become a symbol of freedom and democracy. She welcomed arriving immigrants, who could see the statue as they arrived in the United States. There is a version of the statue in France given by the United States in return.
The head of the Statue of Liberty weighs approximately 11.25 tons and is made of copper and steel (much like the rest of its body). It has been suggested that the LSA/monster was trying to consume the statue and threw the head after discovering it was indenible. It was one of the first landmarks of the city to be destroyed and is later seen during the evacuation of Manhattan on the Brooklyn Bridge.
- The first trailer for Cloverfield showed a giant explosion in the heart of New York City and the Statue of Liberty's head being thrown down a street. The special effects were not refined in the teaser trailer, leading many peole to notice the difference between the heads in the theatrical trailer and the film itself.
- The decapitated head of the statue in the street is inspired by the poster for John Carpenter's Escape from New York, which depicts the head of the Statue of Liberty lying in the middle of the street.
- The head of the statue is shown about 50% larger than actual size. CG supervisor David Vickery said in an interview that many people imagined the head being much bigger than it actually is, and that the size was increased due to complaints that the head looked too small in the trailer.
- The Statue of Liberty on Wikipedia