France is to send Monday a new Statue of Liberty to the US, 135 years after the first iconic sculpture was sent to New York City in 1886. What many people don’t know is that France initially offered the statue as a gift to Egypt, however Cairo declined the gift.
The new statue will “pay homage to all those who enabled the installation of the first Statue of Liberty, and those who have fought for what she represents all over the world”. It will also act as a symbol of renewed Franco-US relations.
Standing at 2.83 metres tall, the statue is a replica of the original 93-metre version in all but size.
It will begin its journey to the US on June 7, leaving the Port of Le Havre on board a Tosca container ship flying a French ensign (flag), after a ceremonial send-off in Paris a few days earlier. The project has been privately funded.
The new Lady Liberty will arrive in New York City first to coincide with Independence Day on July 4.
The statue will then continue to Washington DC to be installed in the gardens of the French Ambassador to the US, where it will be visible “for all to see from the street”, and look towards the original sculpture.
The plan is for it to remain in place for ten years, on an agreed loan from the Quai d’Orsay Conservatoire.