A new Statue of Liberty is headed to the United States from France. But don’t worry, the original Lady Liberty’s torch will continue to shine on her island in Upper New York Bay.
The newest statue has been given the nickname “Lady Liberty’s Little Sister” because she is a much smaller replica of the original statue created by Gustave Eiffel (yes, the same man who created the Eiffel Tower in Paris) and gifted to the United States in 1885.
Officially known as “Liberty Enlightening the World,” the sculpture is a bronze replica created in 1878 by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who worked with Eiffel on the full-sized Statue of Liberty. This miniature Lady Liberty stands nearly 10 feet tall and has been on display at the Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris.
The mini-monument is heading to its new, temporary home at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. France is loaning the statue to the U.S. as a symbol of the two countries’ continuing friendship.
“Franco-American friendship will be marked under the sign of liberty,” said Olivier Faron, general administrator of Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, according to Reuters. “A new era in relations between France and the United States will open up, that’s what we want.”
On June 7, workers carefully removed the statue from its home and prepared it for its trip to the United States. The crew wrapped it in protective plastic and crated it for its long trip to its new location.
First, it will make a nine-day voyage on a container ship across the Atlantic Ocean. Next, Lady Liberty’s Little Sister will stand across from her big sister on Ellis Island in time for our nation’s Fourth of July festivities.
After a brief stay in New York, the 1,000-pound sculpture will venture down to its new home in Washington D.C., in time for France’s celebration of Bastille Day on July 14.
This new arrival won’t be the only petite Lady Liberty in the country, though. Did you know that Pennsylvania has its own small Statue of Liberty?
Tucked away on the Dauphin Narrows in Pennsylvania, Lady Liberty on the Susquehanna stands in honor of the original Statue of Liberty’s 100th anniversary. She has quite a tumultuous history, as the first statue was made of plywood and Venetian blinds, which led to its destruction in a storm in 1992. Fortunately, the statue was rebuilt, and it remains a popular tourist spot in the Keystone state.