Why Was The Statue Of Liberty Built With Copper

Why Was The Statue Of Liberty Built With Copper – Due to its rich archaeological history, Egypt is known as the birthplace of several colossi depicting ancient rulers. Most travelers to Egypt recognize this easily when they visit the Colossi of Memnon, which stand proudly on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor, or stand small in front of the seated statues in front of the Abu Simbel temple.

It is therefore not surprising that this country, with its vibrant identity and cultural richness, would inspire the construction of modern buildings and monuments.

Why Was The Statue Of Liberty Built With Copper

Why Was The Statue Of Liberty Built With Copper

One such amazing project would be the large Liberty Statue on Liberty Island in New York. Although this may seem incredibly far-fetched at first, evidence suggests that the statue was not originally designed to reach the shores of the United States, but in fact in the city of Port Said in Egypt.

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The Statue of Liberty was designed by the French artist and sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who, after visiting Egypt in 1855 with a group of Orientalist artists, decided to create a colossal statue that would rival the ancient statues of Egypt, namely one of most of them. famous statues on the Giza plateau, the Sphinx.

The statue, which was to stand at the northern entrance of the Suez Canal, was envisioned as a grandiose project symbolizing the country’s booming industrial development, movement towards Europeanization and the social achievements that Bartholdi offered to the Egyptian government, especially the Khedive Ismail.

“Bartholdi’s working title was ‘Egypt Bringing Light to Asia,’ and he created a ninety-foot tall figure of an Egyptian peasant woman with raised arm and torch in hand,” says Peter Hessler in his book, The Buried.

In Egypt have adapted to modern clothing, many simply wear a veil, niqab or headscarf.

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, or with a torch in hand, or in the typical manner of the women of Upper Egypt, on the head.

In 1867, Bartholdi began working on his envisioned project for two years, according to the University of Chicago article “The Statue of Liberty and Its Near Eastern Connections.”

Unfortunately, Egyptian colleagues did not welcome Batholdi’s project with enthusiasm. The country was horrified by the cost of building the canal, so the creation of a colossal statue was deemed too expensive. According to the National Park Service, an office of the US Department of the Interior, Bartholdi was told that plans to undertake the monumental project during the grand opening of the canal were rejected.

Why Was The Statue Of Liberty Built With Copper

Thus, Bartholdi’s neoclassical statue had to be reborn for another country and under a slightly different cover.

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In 1870, inspired by Edouard de Laboule’s idea to build a monument dedicated to the values ​​of freedom and democracy in the United States, Bartholdi designed the “Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World”, which bears a striking resemblance with his previous idea for his sister. port.

The new statue, however, has its crossover inspiration from the Roman goddess of freedom, Libertas, and the ancient Colossus of Rhodes, a former Seven Wonders of the World monument before its demolition.

The Statue of Liberty, which today is recognized as one of the most important symbols of the United States, was finally erected in 1886. Towering over New York Harbor at 305 feet six inches, the Statue of Liberty is one of America’s most famous symbols. . It has inspired countless souvenir replicas and has been featured in everything from War Bond posters to the final scene of the 1968 film Planet of the Apes, in which an astronaut returning to Earth in the distant future finds it partially buried in sand .

But the statue, known the world over, went to iconic status through a strangely accidental journey. It was conceived by the French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who had never been to the United States before arriving in 1871 in hopes of persuading Americans to support his dream of building a monumental statue.

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Construction of the skeleton and plaster surface of the left arm and hand of the Statue of Liberty in the workshop of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, around 1883.

His design for the Statue of Liberty borrowed from his earlier idea of ​​a colossal woman with a lantern at the entrance to the Suez Canal. The proposed figure, which he called “Liberty Enlightening the World”, was a woman in a crown of rays, holding a torch in one hand and a tablet in the other. He first explored Central Park as a possible location before settling on what was then Bedloe Island.

Bartholdi traveled across the United States from Washington, DC to Los Angeles to promote his idea, but when he failed to get government support, he returned to France and began working with his friend Edouard de Laboule to work, who for years wanted to build a Franco – American monument.

Why Was The Statue Of Liberty Built With Copper

“Laboulé was a great admirer of the United States,” says American University historian Alan Kraut on the Raising the Torch podcast for the Statue of Liberty Museum. “He was particularly moved by the results of the American Civil War, the freeing of 4 million slaves, and the enduring relationship of the United States with France.”

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In 1875, Labouillet founded the Franco-American Union to raise $250,000 to finance the Bartholdi statue. The idea was that the Americans, in turn, would raise money for the base of the statue.

But it was not so easy to get people in the USA – especially in New York, where it should be – to invest money in the project. In 1876, to drum up enthusiasm, Bartholdi displayed the statue’s arm and torch at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. When the skeptics in New York asked why he didn’t show more of the body, Bartholdi hinted that he could just put up a finished statue in Philadelphia. New Yorkers, who did not want to be shown, quickly agreed to show a hand and torch in Madison Square to promote the project and encourage more contributions, according to the New York Public Library.

In the 1880s, the American Statue of Liberty Committee raised money to build the statue’s base by selling small souvenir models of the planned statue, priced from $1 for a six-inch replica to $5 for a foot-tall version. . through a national campaign. These efforts led to the proliferation of miniature Statues of Liberty throughout the United States and around the world and helped establish the statue in the public imagination as a symbol of America.

According to Christine Garneau and Donald Langmead’s Encyclopedia of Architectural and Engineering Achievement, a number of other fundraising events were organized, ranging from theater galas to prize competitions.

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Emma Lazarus wrote a poem “The New Ear” which was read at a fundraising art exhibition in 1883. (Two decades later, it was inscribed on a bronze plaque on the inner wall of the plinth.) Lazarus’s desperate plea: “Give me your tired, your poor, your giddy masses who want to breathe freely,” helped the statue more how to do. a celebration of American democracy that connects it to the waves of immigrants arriving in America in the late 1800s and their aspirations for a better life.

Men in a workshop hammering copper plates for the construction of the Statue of Liberty, circa 1883.

“Laboulé uses America as a symbol of goodness. He sees Bartholdi as an instrument through which he can achieve his goal of making a gift,” Barry Moreno, historian and curator at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, tells Raising the Torch Podcast.

Why Was The Statue Of Liberty Built With Copper

, came to the aid of the project. In March 1885, Pulitzer published an article in his newspaper urging readers to contribute more money to the base, pointing out that the statue itself was paid for by “the mass of the French people—workers , traders, shopkeepers, girls, craftsmen – everyone, regardless of class or state”. Pulitzer demanded that Americans also have a role to play, and it worked. The newspaper was able to raise $100,000 to complete the project, mostly in donations of $1 or less.

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But while the campaign to remove the plinth—in some ways an early version of today’s GoFundMe campaigns—required bunnies, it ultimately helped Americans feel a sense of belonging and connection to the statue, even while on the was created on the other side of the Atlantic. .

As Magnuson-Kennady, a senior ranger with the National Park Service, says on the Raising the Torch podcast, “The Statue of Liberty really belonged to the people, because the people of the United States and the people of France … not the Super -rich, not the super powerful – ordinary people participated in the fundraiser and paid for the Statue of Liberty and the pedestal.

In 1885, the statue – 350 pieces – arrived in New York, where it took a year to assemble, because the base was not yet finished. Finally, in October 1886, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in a ceremony during which the crowd broke into a full 15-minute round of applause before President Grover Cleveland could begin

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