Statue of Liberty

statue of liberty

You came to Paris to see the Statue of Liberty, right? I mean where else could you see something like this? Wait, I know…

The truth is there are actually five of these statues throughout Paris. They were created by the French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi after he was inspired by a comment made to him by a French politician in 1865. He suggested that perhaps the two nations could share a joint project that could be used as a monument to U.S. Independence.

By the mid-1870s Bartholdi had created the head of the proposed statue along with one arm holding a torch. He began traveling to both countries trying to raise money for the project and the head was displayed at the Exposition Universelle held in Paris in 1878. The arm holding the torch was shown at the US Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia.

The United States government set aside land on an island in the New York Harbor for the statue to sit. Bartholdi, having raised enough money to continue his art asked to use the workshop where Gustave Eiffel constructed the 46-meter-high Eiffel Tower. Eiffel created an innovative “double skeleton” that would allow the structure to move with the wind and expand in hotter conditions while keeping the skin of the statue from cracking.

Bartholdi constructed the entire statue and then broke it down so it could be transported to Liberty Land where it was reassembled and dedicated in 1886.

Should you find yourself in the 17th arrondissement at 25 Rue de Chazelles you will find a commemorative plaque showing that this was the place of birth for the Statue of Liberty. The original building is now gone and has been replaced with a modern 5-story building. If you venture inside of the medical offices of La Clinique du Parc Monceau you will find a small, baby-sized, cast replica of the statue, at its birthplace.

Here is a list of the locations where you can find the statues in Paris:

  • Musée des Arts & Metiers: outside next to the apse of the chapel. This was probably the first one ever cast.
  • Allée des Cygnes: this is a long and narrow island on the Seine just downstream from the Eiffel Tower. You will find the statue on the Grenelle end of the island.
  • Musée d’Orsay: on the main floor, this one has been moved multiple times but finally found its home here in 2014.
  • Jardin du Luxembourg: you will her in front of an oak tree. Beneath it is a plaque that reads “This American oak is dedicated to the memory of the victims of September 11, 2001, in the United States of America. Gift of the American community of Paris as a symbol of Franco-American friendship by M. Christian Poncelet, President of the French Senate in the presence of Honorable Howard Leach, Ambassador of the United States of America to France.”
  • Pont de l’Alma: this one isn’t the whole statue but merely the gold flame that you will find. Many think of this as a memorial to Princess Diana who perished in a car crash in the tunnel that runs beneath the bridge at this very point. You will find flowers and letters laid there as well.

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Kristal Ham

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Traveler and Photographer

My name is Kristal and I am so happy to have you visit my site! 

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