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THE STATUE OF LIBERTY What its symbols mean
The Torch The torch is the strongest symbol that Bartholdi incorporated into the Statue. In fact the Statue's real name reflects its true meaning: "Liberty Enlightening the World".
The Crown The statue wears a crown with seven spikes. This represents the 7 seas and 7 continents of the world, re-enforcing the universal concept of liberty.
The Tablet The Statue holds a tablet in her left hand. It is a book of law based on the founding principles of this nation, a nation based on law.
The Writing on the Tablet The Statue's tablet contains writing on it. This was one of the last changes that Bartholdi made to the Statue. It was originally left blank. Bartholdi placed the date of America's independence on the tablet ( JULY IV MDCCLXXVI ). They are in Roman numerals which are symbolic of law.
The Windows of the Crown The twenty-five windows represent the heaven's rays of light that shine over the seven seas and continents.
The Shape of the Tablet Do you know what the tablet's shape is called? It is a keystone. In architecture, a keystone is the stone which keeps the others together. Without it everything would fall apart. The keystone of this nation is the fact that it is based on law. Without law, freedom and democracy would not prevail.
Her Sandals The Statue of Liberty actually wears sandals. She is also not standing still. Even though the Statue stands on a pedestal, she is actually walking ahead moving forward. This goddess is lighting the path to freedom through peace, not violence. Her footwear also suggests her stature as a free person.
Her Robe The Statue of Liberty wears a free-flowing robe or stola, which powerfully refers to the Roman influence of the goddess "Libertas", which was worshipped by freed slaves.
The Broken Chains A symbolic feature that people cannot see is the broken chain wrapped around the Statue's feet. It demonstrates that the Statue is free from slavery and bondage. Protruding from the bottom of her robe, the broken chains symbolize her free forward movement, enlightening the world with her torch free from oppression and servitude.
The Shields Richard Morris Hunt made some representations in his pedestal design as well. He placed shields on each side of the pedestal symbolizing the states in the Union.
The Granite Brick There are 13 layers of granite that comprise the body of the pedestal. The 13 colonies formed America in 1776.
Fun Facts 154 steps from the pedestal to the head of the Statue of Liberty weight of the Statue of Liberty is 225 tons (or 450,000 pounds) During the restoration completed in 1986, the new torch was carefully covered with thin sheets of 24k gold The exterior copper covering of the Statue of Liberty is 3/32 of an inch thick (less than the thickness of two pennies) and the light green color (called a patina) is the result of natural weathering of the copper
Lady Liberty wears a size 879 shoe. There are 25 windows in the crown. When the statue was first erected in 1886 it was the tallest iron structure ever built. The statue sustained minor damage in 1916 when German saboteurs set off an explosion during World War One. The torch- bearing arm suffered the most damage, with repair works costing $100,000. The stairs in the torch were then closed to the public for safety reasons, and have remained closed ever since. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, the statue was closed for security reasons, with the pedestal reopening in 2004, and the statue in 2009, but only a limited number of visitors are able to go up to the crown.
Lady Liberty is thought to have been hit by around 600 bolts of lightning every year since she was built. A photographer captured this for the first time in 2010.
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