The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World, a hollow colossus composed of thinly pounded copper sheets over a steel framework, was designed in Paris by the French sculptor Frederic Bartholdi, in collaboration with the French engineer Gustave Eiffel, who was responsible for its frame, intended as a gift from France for the centenary of American independence in 1876. Its design and construction were recognized at the time as one of the greatest technical achievements of the 19th century, and, when finally dedicated a decade later, it was hailed as a bridge between art and engineering. Atop its pedestal, designed by noted American architect Richard Morris Hunt, on an island at the entrance to New York Harbour, the Statue has since welcomed millions of immigrants who arrived in the United States by sea.
(i) This colossal statue is a masterpiece of the human spirit. The collaboration between the sculptor Bartholdi and the engineer Eiffel resulted in the production of a technological wonder that brings together art and engineering in a new and powerful way.
(vi) The symbolic value of the Statue of Liberty lies in two basic factors. It was presented by France with the intention of affirming the historical alliance between the two nations. It was financed by international subscription in recognition of the establishment of the principles of freedom and democracy by the U.S. Declaration of Independence, which the Statue holds in her left hand. The Statue also soon became and has endured as a symbol of the migration of people from many countries into the United States in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries. She endures as a highly potent symbol – inspiring contemplation, debate and protest – of ideals such as liberty, peace, human rights, abolition of slavery, democracy and opportunity.
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