Streams

The Statue of Liberty Was One Man's Quixotic Pet Project

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Head of the Statue of Liberty, on display in the 1878 world's fair in Paris. Bartholdi displayed the statue’s head at the 1878 world’s fair in Paris. Proceeds from postcard and souvenir sales helped fund Liberty’s construction. (Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-18086)

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable monuments in the world, a symbol of freedom and the American dream. For decades, the myth has persisted that the statue was a grand gift from France, but Elizabeth Mitchell reveals that the Statue of Liberty was in fact the pet project of one quixotic and visionary French sculptor, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. Bartholdi not only forged this 151-foot-tall colossus in a workshop in Paris and transported her across the ocean. Mitchell tells the story of the statue in Liberty's Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty.

Guests:

Elizabeth Mitchell

Comments [7]

http://www.nps.gov/stli/historyculture/abolition.htm

Laboulaye was definitely on the post-slavery symbolism. Bartholdi? Who knows. The statue was changed to de-emphasize the chains.

Jul. 22 2014 10:04 AM
B'jai Francis from Brooklyn, NY

Hello Ms.Mitchell. I fell a little incomplete after re-listening to the interview. Why no explanation of the replicas that were supposedly rejected and of the shackles?
Thank you.

Jul. 18 2014 05:31 PM
thad davis from kendrick, idaho

I thought there was a connection to slavery but I didn't hear anything that addressed the issue. How about the shackles?

Jul. 16 2014 07:02 PM
thad davis from kendrick, idaho

I thought there was a connection to slavery but I didn't hear anything that addressed the issue. How about the shackles?

Jul. 16 2014 07:01 PM

An exhibit a fb friend hipped me to...

http://news.artnet.com/in-brief/danh-vo-bringing-the-statue-of-liberty-to-manhattan-and-brooklyn-3249

Jul. 16 2014 03:19 PM
Wayne Carey from Germantown, NY.

Why no mention of the chains ?

Jul. 16 2014 01:20 PM

a) The terracotta study of Liberty Enlightening the World in the Museum of the City of New York shows Liberty holding the remains of the broken chains in her hands. The current statue has the chains at her feet. What prompted the design change?

b) Has the current statue been accurately measured so that it could be easily re-created in the case of terrorist attack or natural disaster? What material would we use rather than copper? What would it cost?

Jul. 16 2014 12:41 PM

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