Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty towers over the entrance of the New York harbor. The statue presents a woman, draped in a robe, holding a torch in her right hand and tablet in the left. On the tablet is inscribed “July IV MDCCLXXVI,” which represents the sonnet “The New Colosus” written by Emma Lazarus. For U. S citizens, the statue of liberty is a sign of freedom and prosperity, but these views are based on false beliefs and inaccurate information.
The most common story about the statue is that it was given to the U. S from the French as a gift, celebrating the 100th anniversary of America as a country. The true story is much more interesting and reveals the history behind the Statue of Liberty. The statue was originally called “Light of Asia”. It was intended as a gift to the newly inaugurated Egyptian king, Seuz Canal, by the Turkish and funded by its treasury. The statue was designed by Frederick Auguste Bartholdi, a frenchman and one of the most respected sculptures of the 1800’s.
The entrance of the canal was to be crowned with a statue depicting a woman towering above the harbor. She was to be draped in a graceful loose robe, wearing a crown with seven spikes on her head to represent the Ottoman Sultan whose title was the ‘King of Seven Seas. ’’(False np) By the time the statue was finished, the Egyptians had won its independence from the Ottomans in the Ottoman war. The new ruler of Egypt, Hidiv Ismail, had many objections to having this statue placed in the middle of the canal, in front of his harbor, one being that such a statue would create mortal sin because it was more pleasing to look at than statues of gods.
Another reason being that the statue was of a woman which would create many problems and would go against many Muslim beliefs. Because of this, the statue never left France and was put into storage until a suitable location could be found for it. A year later, in 1864 the Civil War ended with the U. S emerging as a free, democratic, and powerful country. The French, quickly realizing this, wanted to ensure friendship and camaraderie with America. The French decided to give the Statue of Liberty to the U. S as a 100th anniversary gift commemorating its independance.
The statue was broken down into three hundred pieces and put into two hundred and fifteen crates. It arrived on the shores of New York on June 17, 1885 but wasn’t fully assembled until a year later in 1886. Bartholdi performed the inauguration at the dedication ceremony on October 18, even though he knew that his art was not meant for the United States and was fully funded by the Turkish. The statue’s one hundred and fifty foot pedestal was designed by Richard Hunt and built by General Charles Stone with a final cost of 270,000 dollars.
On top of this pedestal, the statue stands over 300 feet tall and is held together by a thick steel frame. The actual statue has the appearance of a green tint and is commonly misinterpreted as green paint. This was not on purpose. All three hundred pieces of the statue are made of 3/32 inch thick pure copper plates and when pure copper is left alone it reacts with oxygen to create the green tint. To create the intricate shapes and designs on the statue, Using the repousse method, molds were taken of the framework to create the delicate designs of the statue.
The copper was then heated and pounded with mallets until the desired shape was met. To me, the statue is of a women, dressed in a long robe, with a torch in her right hand and a tablet in the left. Her headpiece reminds me of a crown of a king. It also reminds me of the greek God, Poseidon, God of the ocean. He wore a seven spiked crown, almost exactly like the one she is wearing and it is a representation that he rules the seven seas of the world. The statue looks like it was made from some type of cement or granite from afar.
These materials seemed better fitting than any other because they are strong and able to support the weight of the statue as well as the harsh conditions it endures. The closer you get to the statue the easier it is to tell what it’s made of. The outside is not rough at all like cement but it’s smooth and almost glossy representing that characteristics of a metal. The statue also looks as if it was painted with a light greenish blueish paint. The size of the statue huge and can be seen from miles away. It’s fascinating to learn how Bartholdi created this piece of art with the limited materials and knowledge of the 1800’s compared to today.
This piece of art brings out a feeling that no other artwork can produce. The Statue of Liberty is a huge monument known throughout the nation as a symbol of hope and freedom, yet Americans didn’t have the right to accept it because it wasn’t the French’s property to begin with. Knowing this, the Statue of Liberty does not represent those things to me. It serves as a reminder of America’s struggles to be a first world country and the successes of the Civil War. My four-panel artwork illustrates the loss of value the statue of liberty would have if the U. S population found out about its true history.
The first piece of art shows the first signs of neglect towards the structural needs of the statue. Less money is collected from tourism so the need to reinforce the statue is not met. The second drawing depicts the statue as not only neglected but not even memorable to passers-by due to the dirty and unkempt appeal. The last drawing shows the full deterioration of the once famous and symbolic statue, which now represents another piece of history that Americans may or may not want to remember.
Subject: New York City,
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 6 October 2016
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