France Sending New Statue of Liberty to U.S. for July 4, But There’s a Catch

by Josh Lanier

Lady Liberty is getting a twin just in time for the July 4th weekend. The 10-foot-tall bronze recreation will be on display in Washington, D.C., and New York City this summer.

The French government gifted the United States the original Statue of Liberty in 1876. And they are sending the mini-me statue “as a symbol of friendship,” Fox News said. Sculptors used the same plaster model French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi used to create the original.

French Ambassador Philippe Etienne told Fox News that the Statue of Liberty “enlightens the world.”

“I am truly honored to receive this symbol of the friendship of the French and American peoples,” he said.

Officials will display the smaller statue from July 1 to July 5 in New York on Ellis Island. That’s less than a mile from its big sister. After that, the statue will head to Washington, D.C., where officials will unveil it the garden of the French ambassador’s residence.

“This Atlantic crossing renews and strengthens our shared attachment to what we believe in, the foundations of our relationship,” diplomat Liam Wasley, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, said, according to Yahoo.

The miniature left France on June 6, the 77th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

“The statue symbolizes freedom and the light around all the world,” said the general administrator Olivier Faron at the ceremony. “We want to send a very simple message: Our friendship is very important, particularly at this moment. We have to conserve and defend our friendship.”

Susse Fondeur, a French foundry, created the 1,000-pound statue in 2011. It’s been on display at the Musée des Arts et Métiers, a French industrial design museum in Paris ever since, Fox News said.

Statue of Liberty Meant to Celebrate End of War

According to Yahoo, Edouard de Laboulyate, a French historian, conceptualized the idea for the Statue of Liberty in 1865 to celebrate the end of the U.S. Civil War.

It took French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi a decade to mold and construct the 305-foot tall statue. American officials dedicate it in 1886.

For many immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Statue of Liberty was the first American landmark they saw. According to National Park Service, some 14 million immigrants entered through that port during that time.

You can take a virtual tour of The Statue of Liberty’s torch, which has been off-limits to visitors for decades, thanks to the New York Times.