6:00 a.m., June 1, 2021
L’ANTISECHE – As revealed by the JDD, France will send a new replica of the Statue of Liberty to the United States. What is it about? Every day, the Antisèche du JDD answers a question that was worth asking, to understand everything in the news.
The JDD revealed on Sunday that France will send a new Statue of Liberty to the United States on June 7 to strengthen the ties between our two countries. Symbol of the city of New York, this sculpture 46.05 meters high – without the base – is one of the most famous monuments in the country. The statue, whose real name is Liberty enlightening the people, was built in 1886 in France and offered by the French people to celebrate, ten years late, the centenary of the American Declaration of Independence. A sign of friendship that recalls the intervention of France which allowed the emancipation of the Americans.
But the initial project was different. In the summer of 1865, the lawyer and professor at the Collège de France Édouard de Laboulaye wanted to pay homage to Abraham Lincoln, the president assassinated on April 15 of that year. He entrusted his order to the French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the difficult beginnings of the Third Republic delayed the deadline.
Bartholdi, Viollet-le-Duc, Eiffel: a trio of geniuses for an exceptional statue
After five years of fundraising on both sides of the Atlantic, the project is relaunched, bringing together the best of French geniuses. In addition to Bartholdi, the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc and the engineer Gustave Eiffel are summoned to transform the plaster into a scale model of the sculptor into a copper statue. In the United States, where the project is the subject of an exceptional vote of Congress, it is Richard Morris Hunt, the first world-famous American architect, who takes care of the construction of the pedestal.
Also read – EXCLUSIVE. France will send a second Statue of Liberty to the United States
Between the acquisition of the future Liberty Island, financial troubles or the delicate crossing of the Atlantic, the design of the Statue of Liberty experienced many ups and downs until its sulphurous inauguration: while the monument was also supposed to celebrate Abraham Lincoln and the End of Slavery, no black people are invited. So was Joseph Pulitzer, who had actively participated in his promotion and who was probably dismissed because he was Jewish.
Time passed and the statue ended up becoming a symbol of freedom and equality as these creators wanted. Before Covid-19, it was visited by four million people a year and has swarmed around a hundred aftershocks around the world.
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