In an effort to solidify the countries’ friendship, France is sending a second Statue of Liberty to America. The ‘little sister’ is a much smaller version of the original statue and stands at just 10 feet tall and weighs 450 kilograms.
Despite the difference, the second statue is said to be an exact replica and was made using the original 1878 plaster model. The 10ft statue was first made in 2009 and was installed in the National Museum of Arts and Crafts in Paris in 2011, where it had remained ever since.
However, on June 7, the little sister was packed up to start a new journey to the states. It will be erected on Ellis Island on July 1 and will stay up until July 5, according to CNN.
Olivier Faron, general administrator of CNAM, shared: ‘The statue symbolises freedom and the light around all the world. We want to send a very simple message: Our friendship with the United States is very important, particularly at this moment. We have to conserve and defend our friendship.’
The statue will then end up outside the French ambassador’s residence in Washington DC where it will remain for 10 years. The original statue was erected in New York in 1886 and was a gift from France.
The seven spikes in the crown are said to represent the sun’s rays extending out around the world, while the tablet it holds is inscribed with the date of America’s independence. The broken chains at its feet also represent the abolishment of slavery in the US.
France funded the statue and America paid for the pedestal on which it stands. Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor, chose to put it on Bedloe’s Island – now known as Liberty Island – because all inbound ships coming into the city passed it at the time.