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The Statue of Liberty


Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are unalienable rights, according to the United States Declaration of Independence. The document’s 100th anniversary was celebrated with a fitting gift from the people of France: the Statue of Liberty.
The statue was created by Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi. His mother Charlotte was the model. Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the engineer behind the Eiffel Tower, designed the statue’s support structure. It was shipped to New York Harbour in 350 pieces and put together on the American-made pedestal. The project was a symbol of friendship between France and the United States.

Lady Liberty is full of symbolism. She wears a crown with seven spikes, representing the seven continents and seven seas. In her right hand, she holds a torch. The torch is a symbol of enlightenment, lighting the way to freedom. This is also reflected in the statue’s official name: Liberty Enlightening the World.
In her left hand, she holds a tablet. The date of the Declaration of Independence is engraved in Roman numerals reading July 4th, 1776. A broken chain at her feet conveys freedom from oppression and servitude.

The Statue of Liberty represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. For many years, it welcomed immigrants arriving in the US, as they approached the Ellis Island immigration station.
Today, the world has changed. Many Americans demand tougher immigration policies. In such a climate, is the Statue of Liberty still a symbol of freedom?