It is one of those monuments that everyone recognizes, comparable to the Colosseum or the Egyptian pyramids.
It was the government of France that offered the statue to the United States on the occasion of the commemoration of the centenary of the American Revolution and the Statue of Liberty was officially opened to the public in 1886.
Made by Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, it was transported by boat in 356 pieces distributed in more than 200 boxes. First a physical separation took place during its move, since her right arm and flame were separated for some time. Then, following a sabotage orchestrated in a munitions depot by German spies, the statue was damaged and an explosion blew a hundred rivets and caused further damage to the torch which had to undergo a small facelift to be covered with gold.
Many people think that the original statue is the one in New York but actually the cast on which it was minted is in Paris at the Museum of Arts and Crafts. From this same mold were produced 12 more copies, the first of which is at the entrance of the museum itself. A second statue of French origin was brought to Tokyo, Japan, in the late 90s, to celebrate the excellent relations between the two countries and it still stands on the artificial island of Odaiba. In Paris there is another smaller Statue of Liberty on a small island facing the Luxembourg Gardens.
Over the years many have tried to imitate it in all the countries of the world, often with fairly mediocre results. To date, there are 302 copies of the Statue of Liberty scattered here and there in Las Vegas, Colombia and Spain, just to mention a few.
A ticket to visit the Statue allows you to take the ferry from Battery Park, on the southernmost tip of Manhattan. The ferry stops at both Liberty Island and Ellis Island and there is no imposed duration so you can take the time you want to visit these two islands.
I have previously talked at length about Ellis Island because it’s my favorite spot in the City, but I believe that any visit of New York would be null and void without paying tribute to Miss Liberty. Before boarding the ferryboat from Lower Manhattan, everyone has to go through strict security checks, just like at the airport. There is also an additional security check for those who wish to visit the inside of the monument.
Once on Liberty Island, you can visit the pedestal and an observation platform located at the top of the pedestal. It’s a good viewpoint to look at the Statue from down below and to take some good shots of the Manhattan’s skyline. This viewpoint can be reached by taking the 215 steps or take the elevator for part of the way up. The pedestal hall is also home to the Liberty Island Museum.
Some visitors (when open) choose to visit the crown of Miss Liberty.
There is a narrow staircase of 354 steps to get to the crown. But please be advised that if you wish to visit the crown, you are allowed to take only your ticket, camera and medication with you because all other objects must be kept in a locker for security reasons.
The Statue of Liberty appears in gadgets and souvenirs all over the City, from small plastic replicas to plush toys and even Barbie dolls.
It is one of the most visited monuments of New York and it welcomes more than 4 million tourists each year.
It was not accessible for a very long time after the attacks of September 11th 2001, when the inside of the statue, both pedestal and crown were closed to the public but, luckily, Miss Liberty is back.