Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Statue of Liberty (IV)

Location:   New York Harbor
Year:   1886

The Statue of Liberty was finally completed in 1885. After Bartholdi took re-delivery of the arm and other portions that had been sent to America for fundraising, she was fully assembled in Paris that year to test her integrity. She was then dis-assembled, crated in 214 containers, and shipped back to America on the French cargo ship Isere. The Isere nearly foundered in a storm while in transit, but Miss Liberty made it to her permanent home safely. Some of her components had crossed the sea three times. 

Once in America, the statue was warehoused for several months awaiting the completion of the pedestal. 

In the Spring of 1886, assembly atop the pedestal began. In 1984, during her most extensive restoration to date, it was discovered that the workmen who originally assembled her had installed the head incorrectly. The head was two feet off center. They had merely used an ice pick to punch ragged holes in the copper sheathing to run the bolts through. This was corrected during the restoration.

The Statue of Liberty was finally dedicated ten years after her expected due date, on July 4th 1886.  

She immediately began to take on her familiar verdigris patina as the copper sheathing oxidized. This patina actually protects the metal beneath. This colorized photo shows what she looked like immediately after construction.

 photo Liberty.jpg

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