Friday, May 23, 2014

The Statue of Liberty (VIII)

Location:   New York Harbor
Year:   1886

The Statue of Liberty is struck by lightning an estimated 300 times per year:

As an iconic representation of the United States, Lady Liberty has appeared on hundreds of different stamps and coins minted by the U.S. for the last century:

She has also appeared on the numismatics of other nations who embrace the concept of liberty:


In preparation for her hundredth birthday, she was completely refurbished:

During her Centennial, people of all nations participated in honoring the Lady With The Lamp. New York Harbor was ablaze with fireworks. Ships of all nations, and vessels of all sizes, from Tall Ships to aircraft carriers, to Pearson yachts to Sunfish, crowded upper New York Bay as part of "Operation Sail" in order to celebrate:


Due to her iconic status, she is also a popular subject for political cartoons and other statements on issues of the day: 

She's found herself in the debate on race in this nation. An internet legend arose that this was the original design of the Statue of Liberty, rejected by a white male-dominated America in the 1870s. In fact, although Bartholdi and Laboulaye wanted to honor the end of slavery in America by creating the Statue of Liberty, this design was created in 2007, and is not one of Bartholdi's designs:


Sometimes, she even finds herself on both sides of an issue ---


--- even when that issue is immigration --- and it should be noted that the immigration rate in the early 1900s was --- you guessed it --- three million per year. She didn't cringe in the 20th Century. Why would The Mother of Exiles cringe now?:



Our Liberty is our most potent weapon against those who would oppress us:

In the wake of 9/11 she sent Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda a personalized message:

And stood at post for those who died:


There are large-scale Statue of Liberty replicas in almost every nation of earth --- even at least three in New York City itself:

"Little Miss Liberty" complete with an interior staircase and viewing windows used to throw visitors to Midtown for a loop: "I can see the Statue of Liberty from here???" Well, you could, from 1912 to 2002. Within sight of Lincoln Center, she was beloved of New York trivia buffs. In 2005, she was moved to the Brooklyn Museum.
This Lady With The Lamp can be seen gracing the top of a building in the Bronx across River Avenue from Yankee Stadium.
Another Lady on Williamsbridge Avenue in The Bronx

"Miz Libbatee" in Alabama

One of four Statues of Liberty in Paris. There are at least 200 large-scale replicas throughout France.
This Statue of Liberty is Bartholdi's original scale model bronze casting, now standing in the Luxembourg Gardens, Paris
This La Liberté éclairant le monde of Paris has two dates on its tablet: America's Independence Day and France's Bastille Day

A Statue of Liberty in Brazil

An iron Lady in Buenos Aires

This Statue of Liberty stands in a town populated by Israeli Arabs

"Victory" would be Nike, not Libertas, but the architect of this Kosovo Hotel isn't up on his Classical mythology
Shenzhen China is a city full of ersatz monuments: Christ of the Andes, Lady Liberty, and a 1/3 replica of the Eiffel Tower are among three of them

Lady Liberty in Leicester, U.K.
An unusual "Liberty Enthroned" in Lviv, Ukraine
And small-scale replicas and memorabilia abound:


She also gives us a chance to laugh at ourselves, whether we're facing down Superstorm Sandy --- 


 Letting it all hang out ---


Or simply celebrating our Liberty!  Yes, some of it is beautiful, some angry, some bitter, some poignant, some loving, and some silly . . . 


. . . But I'm reminded of the words of Mark Tapely in Charles Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit: 

Americans "all love Liberty so much they can't help taking liberties with her." 


No comments:

Post a Comment