France will send a second Statue of Liberty to the United States, in connection with the upcoming Independence Day, celebrated on July 4th.
According to the television network CNN, this monday Statue of Liberty, already dubbed the “younger sister”, is made of bronze and is one-sixteenth the size of the original, which can be visited on Liberty Island in New York.
This Monday, during a special ceremony, the new statue was hoisted and placed in a container at the Museum of Arts and Crafts (CNAM), in Paris, where it had been installed since 2011.
This “younger sister”, who weighs over 450 kilos and is almost three meters tall, will to be raised on Ellis Island, very close to the island where the original statue is located, and will stay there from July 1st to 5th.
“The statue symbolizes freedom and light throughout the world. We want to send a very simple message: Our friendship with the United States is very important, particularly right now. We have to conserve and defend our friendship“, said Olivier Faron, general administrator of CNAM, quoted by the television station.
The replica has the same neoclassical design as the “older sister”, representing the Roman goddess Libertas, and stands at a height of 50 meters on top of a plinth. It is also imbued with symbolism: it has a crown with seven points, which represent the sun’s rays reaching out to the world; a small sign with the date of America’s independence in Roman numerals; and the broken chains and handcuffs on his left foot, which represent the abolition of slavery in the United States.
The date of the ceremony was also symbolic, as it happened right after the 77th anniversary of D-Day, which took place during World War II, when US soldiers and other Allies landed on French soil in 1944, marking the beginning of Western Europe’s liberation from Nazi occupation.
Remember that the iconic Statue of Liberty, which arrived in New York in 1886, also aimed to strengthen the Franco-American friendship, at a time when Paris and Washington were slowly drifting apart, as was the French historian André Kaspi recalled in a speech during the event.
Now, the “sister” also has a trip scheduled to North American lands and will follow in the footsteps of the original statue. According to CNN, the replica will board on June 19, in the port city of Le Havre and, if all goes according to plan, arrives in New York on the first day of July.
After a brief visit to Ellis Island, his final destination will be Washington, DC, the capital of the United States, where he will spend a decade on display at the residence of the French ambassador.