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The Statue of Liberty

"Liberty Enlightening the World" was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States to commemorate the 100th anniversary of American independence. Her American name is the “Statue of Liberty” and she adorns not only New York’s harbour, but also two sites in Paris - the Île des Cygnes in the Seine River and the Luxembourg Gardens.

Construction of the statue began in France in 1875 and was completed in June 1884. A design patent for the statue was issued by the United States Patent Office on February 18th, 1879. The statue was dismantled and shipped to New York, arriving on June 19th, 1885. The statue then took four months to rebuild. She's over 46 metres tall (on her base she’s close to 93 metres tall) and is now an iconic representation of America.

The original life size cast of the Statue of Liberty stands amongst the beautiful flower gardens and fountains of the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, home to the French Senate. On her pedestal she’s about 4.6 metres high and absolutely ‘magnifique’. This bronze statue was architect / sculptor Batholdi’s miniature mold for the American statue.

The second statue is over 11.5 metres high and stands near the Grenelle Bridge on the Île des Cygnes, an island in the river Seine. This exact Statue of Liberty replica was offered to the French by the American residents of Paris as a remembrance to commemorate the Centennial of the French Revolution and was inaugurated on November 15th, 1889. The tablet on this statue is inscribed with the dates IV Juillet 1776 et XIV Julliet 1789 - the dates of the US and French revolutions.

It was placed facing the Eiffel Tower, so not to have it’s back to the Élysée Palace. However, it’s creator Bartholdi was most upset that it didn't face the New York location of the Statue of Liberty. With persistence, Batholdi finally managed to get the statue turned to face America at the time of the World's Fair in Paris in 1889.

Dedicated on November 15th, 1889, it looks towards the Atlantic Ocean and its "larger sister" in New York which had been erected three years earlier.

The three Lady Liberties are all symbols of friendship, freedom and peace between the US and France.