by Fiona McMurrey

The Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France to the United States, arrived in the USA in 1885. Here's how it happened:

Design and Construction: The statue was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, and its internal framework was designed by French engineer Gustave Eiffel, who later built the Eiffel Tower. The statue was constructed in France in pieces, including the copper exterior and the iron framework.

Fundraising: The cost of building and transporting the statue was substantial. Fundraising efforts were made in both France and the United States to cover the expenses. In the United States, Joseph Pulitzer, a newspaper publisher, initiated a fundraising campaign in his newspaper "The World," encouraging people to donate. The campaign garnered donations from thousands of individuals, making it a true grassroots effort.

Disassembly and Shipping: Once the statue was completed in France, it was disassembled into individual pieces for transportation. The statue's copper skin was divided into about 300 sheets, which were packed into more than 200 crates. The iron framework was also disassembled for shipping.

Transatlantic Voyage: The Statue of Liberty was transported across the Atlantic Ocean on the French Navy ship "Isère." The disassembled pieces were packed in crates and carefully loaded onto the ship. The voyage from France to the United States took about two months.

Arrival and Reassembly: The "Isère" arrived in New York Harbor on June 17, 1885. The statue's components were then transported to the construction site on what is now Liberty Island. Reassembly began, with the iron framework serving as the support structure for the copper skin.

Dedication: The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, in a ceremony attended by numerous dignitaries, including President Grover Cleveland. The dedication marked the symbol of freedom and democracy that the statue had come to represent.

Opening to the Public: The statue's pedestal, provided by the United States, had been completed a few years prior to the statue's arrival. It wasn't until 1886 that the statue was officially open to the public, allowing visitors to ascend the pedestal and enjoy panoramic views of New York City and the harbor.

The Statue of Liberty has since become an iconic symbol of freedom, democracy, and the friendship between the United States and France. It continues to attract millions of visitors from around the world who come to admire its grandeur and historical significance.

By the way did you know there are eight Statue of Liberty replicas in Paris? 