Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
The Liberty Enlightening the World (Liberty Enlightening the World), more commonly known as Statue of Liberty (Statue of Liberty), is one of the most famous monuments in the city of New York. It is located on the island of Liberty Island south of Manhattan, at the mouth of the Hudson River and nearby Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty was given to the United States by the French in 1886, to commemorate the centennial of American independence and as a sign of friendship between the two nations. The inauguration of the statue was celebrated on October 28, 1886 in the presence of President of the United States, Grover Cleveland. The statue is due to the french sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi and its internal structure was designed by engineer Gustave Eiffel. The choice of brass instruments to be used in the construction was entrusted to the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who had the idea of using technology postponed. The statue was also part of the National Historic Landmarks since October 15, 1924 and the World Heritage list of UNESCO since 1984.
The Statue of Liberty, in addition to being a very important monument in the city of New York, has become one of the symbols of the United States and represents a more general freedom and empowerment vis-à-vis of oppression. From its opening in 1886 at the Jet Age, the statue was the first vision of the United States for thousands of immigrants, after a long voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. In terms of architecture, the Statue recalls the Colossus of Rhodes, which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It is finally the main component of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, which is managed by the National Park Service.
A gift to the United States
The idea of this pledge of Franco-American friendship and for the centennial of the country's independence is due to the politician and historian Edward Lefebvre de Laboulaye, author of Paris to America and Tales Bleus. Bartholdi had entrusted to him:
"I fight for freedom, I call to free peoples. I will try to glorify the republic there, until I found one day with us"
At that time, the United States came out of the Civil War which lasted from 1861 to 1865, and the country was experiencing a period of reconstruction and at the dawn of the Gilded Age, ie the " golden period ". The Alsatian sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was thus obligated to imagine a statue which was to be completed in 1876, the date of the centennial of Independence.
In 1870, Bartholdi carved a first draft clay and scale model now exposed to the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon. In the same year, France went to war against Prussia and should capitulate. On May 10, 1871, she had to cede Alsace-Lorraine to Second Reich. Public opinion and the french government were disappointed the sympathy of the United States for the Germans, whose number was important on American soil. The commemorative project was temporarily set aside because of the political turmoil experienced by the Third Republic. Indeed, most French thought then that this republic was only a temporary solution, which would leave room for the monarchy, or a regime similar to that of Napoleon. The idea of offering a representation of freedom in a republic sister on the other side of the Atlantic then played an important role in the struggle for the maintenance of the republic [ref. Required].
In June 1871, Bartholdi moved to the United States where he repéra site Bedloe's Island, Liberty Island future, and tried to win supporters. He met the American President Ulysses Grant on July 18, 1871 in New York.
What was selected?
Some sources put forward various models that would have used to determine the face of the statue. However, historians are reduced to assumptions and there is no proposal truly reliable and authentic. Among the proposed models, we find Isabella Eugenie Boyer, widow of billionaire from the world of couture, Isaac Singer.
According to some sources, Bartholdi would have inspired the face of his mother, Charlotte Bartholdi (1801-1891), of which he was very close, to give the statue's face severe. The National Geographic Magazine supports this assumption, stating that the sculptor has never explained nor denied this resemblance to his mother . Other models have been developed without unanimity: Bartholdi would have liked to reproduce the face of a young girl perched on a barricade and holding a torch, in the aftermath of the coup d'état of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte . It could have produced a synthesis of several female faces, in order to provide a neutral, impersonal image of Liberty.
During a visit to Egypt, Auguste Bartholdi was inspired by the project of the Suez Canal whose construction would be initiated under the leadership of the entrepreneur and french diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps, who became one of its most great friends. It came as a great beacon that would be located at the entrance to the canal and he drew the plans. The lighthouse is in the image of the goddess Libertas pantheon of the Roman god of freedom, but its representation should be modified to resemble an Egyptian peasant dress (one fallaha). The light from the lighthouse shine through was a banner placed around the head of the lighthouse, as well as the top of a torch held in the air in the direction of heaven. Bartholdi presented its plans to Khedive Isma'il Pasha in 1867 and again in 1869, but the project was never identified. The drawings of the project entitled Egypt bringing light to Asia strongly resemble the Statue of Liberty, although Bartholdi had always maintained that the monument New York was not a reuse, but an original work.
The assembly of the structure
By common consent, it was agreed that the United States would carry out the construction of the base of the statue, while the French would be responsible for the construction of the Statue of its assembly then once the parts arrived on the ground American. However, financial problems arose on both sides of the Atlantic.
In France, the promotional campaign for the statue began in the fall of 1875. It was the Franco-American Union, founded in 1874, which was commissioned to organise the collection of funds for the construction of the statue. All means of the time were used for this purpose: articles in the press, shows, banquets, public taxes, lottery, paper cutters to the effigy of the Statue, and so on. Several French cities, general councils, chambers of commerce, the Grand Orient de France but also by thousands of individuals made donations. The number of subscribers was announced 100000. Since the end of 1875, funds already collected amounted to 400000 francs, but the estimate increased thereafter in a million francs of the time. It was not until 1880 that the total funding was provided in France. Meanwhile, the United States, theatre performances, art exhibitions, auctions, as well as professional boxing matches were held to raise money.
Meanwhile, in France, Bartholdi needed an engineer to carry out the internal structure of such a copper statue. That Gustave Eiffel, which was hired to carry out the massive metal tower that supports the statue, as well as the secondary internal skeleton that allows the skin of the copper statue to hold herself upright. The copper coins were manufactured in the workshops of the company "Gaget-Gauthier," in 1878. The copper sheets were given by Pierre-Eugene Secrétan. The work of precision were then entrusted by Eiffel in Mauritius Koechlin, a member of his family with whom he also worked on the Eiffel Tower.
Bartholdi had hoped that the statue would be completed and assembled for July 4, 1876, date of the centennial of independence, but a delayed start and then some trouble during the period of construction work delayed: plaster of the main broke in March 1876. The latter was still exposed in September 1876 at the Centennial Exposition (exposition of the century) in Philadelphia. Visitors can climb a ladder that led to the balcony around the torch through 50 cents. Photographs, posters and models of the statue were sold during the exhibition. The money raised could be used to complete the work. Two years later, in June 1878, the head of the statue was revealed to the public in the gardens of the Champ de Mars on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1878, visitors could enter the head to crown using a staircase 43 meters.
On February 18, 1879, Bartholdi obtains a patent for his statue, the patent D11, 023.
The latter described in these terms:
"A statue of Liberty Enlightening the World, which consists basically in a female draped with an arm raised, bearing a torch, while the other holds a tablet engraved, and with a crown on his head, in essence as stated before."
The patent also states that the face of the statue has "classic traits but serious and quiet" and notes that the body of the statue is considered slightly to the left to rest on the left leg, so that Memorial held in balance. It is further clarified that the statue is covered with representations "in any manner known art form of glyphique statue or statuette, or in high relief, or bas-relief, metal, stone, terra cotta, plaster of Paris or other plastic composition."
The acquisition of the island
The statue is located on the island of Liberty Island in New York harbour. At first, the island was known as Bedloe's Island, and served as a military base. It housed the Fort Wood, artillery bastion built of granite and whose foundations star-shaped eleven branches served as the basis for the construction of the pedestal of the statue. The choice of obtaining land and asked several approaches. In 1877, the United States Congress gave its approval for the construction of the Statue and W. T. Sherman was named to designate the ground where the monument would be built. He chose the site of Bedloe's Island. Fifteen years before the inauguration, Bartholdi had already planned to build his house on Bedloe Island. In his mind, it was already built and turned to his home continent, which it hosted Europe and would continue to welcome immigrants. It was not until 1956 that Congress decided a change of name of the island in Liberty Island, ie "island of freedom."
The realization of the vast base of the statue was entrusted by the Americans Bartholdi, while the French should take responsibility for the construction of the Statue and its assembly. The collection of funds needed to carry out the work was placed under the responsibility of the Attorney General, William M. Evarts. But as it progressed very slowly, Joseph Pulitzer agreed to make available to responsible for building the first pages of the New York World to raise money. The newspaper was also used by its creator to criticize the upper classes, given their inability to find the necessary funds, and the middle classes, who relied on the more affluent to do so. The criticism of the newspaper then had a positive impact by encouraging private donors to come forward, while providing the additional newspaper advertising, as 50000 new subscribers were registered during this period. Funds for the construction of the basement designed by the American architect Richard Morris Hunt and directed by Engineer Charles Pomeroy Stone, however, were collected in August 1884. The first stone of the pedestal was laid on August 5, 1884, and the foundation, mainly consisting of Kersanton stone, was built between October 9, 1883 and August 22, 1886. When the last stone of the building was laid, the builders took several pieces of silver in their pocket, and threw it in the mortar. Participants in the ceremony laid down their cards, medals and journals in a box bronze deposited in the base. At the heart of the bloc, which comprises the base, two sets of beams directly related to the basic internal structure designed by Gustave Eiffel so that the statue does one with his pedestal. In addition, the stone up the base of the Statue of Liberty comes careers of a small town in France, in the Meuse Euville, known for its white stone, known as Euville and for its low erosion seawater.
The voyage across the Atlantic, assembly and inauguration
The various pieces of the statue were completed in France since 1884. The statue then received several visitors to mark such as the President Jules Grévy and writer Victor Hugo. The dismantling began in January 1885.
The statue was sent to Rouen by train, and then it came down the Seine by boat before arriving at the port of Le Havre. She entered the port of New York on June 17, 1885, aboard a French frigate, Isère, and received a triumphant welcome from the New Yorkers. In order to make possible the voyage aboard a ship, the statue was dismantled in 350 rooms, divided into 214 boxes, knowing that his right arm and flames were already present on American soil, where they had been exposed a first time at the Centennial Exposition, and then in New York. 36 boxes were reserved for washers, rivets and bolts needed for the assembly. Upon arrival at destination, the Statue was réassemblée in four months, on his new pedestal. The various pieces were attached by copper rivets and draped permit to solve the problems of dilatation.
On October 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty was inaugurated in the presence of President of the time, Grover Cleveland, former Governor of New York, in front of 600 guests and thousands of spectators. It Frédéric Desmons, then vice president of the Senate, who represented France at the inauguration. Ferdinand de Lesseps and many Freemasons were also present. The monument was a gift celebrating the centennial of American independence, comes with a decade of delay. The success of the monument is growing rapidly: in the two weeks following the inauguration, about 20000 people had pressed to see it. Traffic to the site grew from 88000 visitors a year, one million in 1964 and three million in 1987.
The flagship of the Port of New York
The Statue worked as a lighthouse between the date of its construction in 1886 and 1902. At that time, the U. S. Lighthouse board, which was responsible for its operation. A lighthouse keeper was even assigned to the Statue and the power of the beam of light was such that it was visible at a distance of 39 kilometers. A power generator had been installed on the island in order to operate the structure.
The torch which is currently held by the Statue is not one she wore at his inauguration in 1886. It has been replaced by a new flashlight covered with sheets of gold, which is illuminated by lamps placed on the balcony that surrounds it. In 1985, to renovate the torch of the Statue, the United States has appealed to a company Bezannes, near Reims, where craftsmen work experts in metal work. A team of Reims has refurbished the torch plagued by rust. The old torch is described in the museum, located in the lobby of the structure.
"New features" during the 1980
The Statue of Liberty was one of the first monuments to enjoy what we call in America a campaign event marketing. Indeed, in 1983, the monument was placed at the heart of a promotional efforts undertaken by American Express, designed to raise funds to maintain and renovate the building. It was agreed that each purchase made with an American Express card would result in a donation of one cent by the banking enterprise. The campaign to gather permit and $ 1.7 million. In 1984, the statue was closed so that the work, totalling $ 62 million, can be conducted on the occasion of its centennial. The chairman of Chrysler, Lee Iacocca, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to avoid any conflict of interest.
Workers in charge of the work erect scaffolding around the building, whose view was obscured until the ceremony of the centennial on July 4, 1986. The statue, surrounded by his scaffolding, is apparent in the film Remo unarmed and dangerous, released in 1985. The work within the structure began with the use of liquid hydrogen to remove the layers of paint applied to the interior of the carcass copper for several decades. Once these layers of paint removed, there remained no more than the original two layers of tar that were used to prevent leakage and prevent corrosion. The tar was then in turn cleared with baking soda, but the structure of copper would suffer any damage. The largest holes in the copper were in their flat, before being blocked by new platelets.
Each of the 1350 metal parts supporting the "skin" had to be removed and then replaced. The iron had suffered significant galvanic corrosion, wherever he was in contact with copper, leading to a reduction by half of its thickness. Bartholdi had anticipated this problem and provided a combination of asbestos and pitch to separate the two metals, but the insulation had deteriorated several decades ago. New stainless steel bars shaped replaced the iron bars with a Teflon film separating copper for better insulation and reduced friction. Then the liquid hydrogen was again introduced by a cryogenic process vested in the company of Michigan CryoTech (now lost), to ensure that certain parts of the statue are strengthened, and resist long after the work.
The internal structure of the right arm was also reworked. During the construction of the Statue, the member was displaced by 46 centimetres on the right, and forward compared to the central structure of Eiffel. The head had been shifted by 0.61 centimetre on the left, which distorted the frame. Bartholdi would have made this decision without the consent of Eiffel because they see that the arm and face were too close. Engineers regarded the work of strengthening 1932 as insufficient, and added a diagonal sash in 1984 and 1986 to make the structure stronger.
In addition to the replacement of the bulk of the iron frame with stainless steel and the strengthening of the structure of the Statue, the restoration of the mid-1980 also involved the replacement of the original torch in a rejoinder renovation internal staircases, the installation of an elevator in the basement and improving the system of control weather. The statue was reopened to the public on April 5, 1986, the day after the Liberty Weekend.
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