Why was the Statue of Liberty built?

The Statue of Liberty, which is one of the world’s tallest structures, was built to celebrate the birth of the United States of America. It was a gift from the French people to the Americans symbolising the spirit of liberty, equality and fraternity. This Statue stands on Bedloe’s Island, now called Liberty Island, at the mouth of New York Harbour. This was put here as desired by its sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. The famous French historian Edouard de Laboulaye made the plan for this monument after the American civil war. The French people met the cost of the statue, while the money for the 150 feet pedestal was raised in the United States. The statue was made in France. In 1885, the complete statue, 152 feet high and weighing 225 tonnes was shipped to New York City in separate pieces. It was put on the pedestal at Bedloe’s Island and dedicated to the nation by President Grover Cleveland on October 28, 1886. The total height of this monument from the pedestal to the torch is 305 feet. It represents a woman wearing a robe and holding a burning torch aloft in her right hand. The left hand holds a tablet bearing the date of American Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776). At night, the statue is floodlit and the torch shines with a powerful light. An elevator rises to the balcony level, and a spiral staircase leads to an observation platform in the statue’s crown. People can climb up inside the statue by means of a lift and a spiral stairway. The statue was at first administered by the Lighthouse Board, because the illuminated torch was considered a navigational aid. In 1901, the statue was transferred to the War Department. In 1924, it was declared a National monument and in 1956 Bedloe’s Island was renamed as Liberty Island. This colossal statue stands as a symbol of freedom and equality. The French people made this gift to the Americans on the 100th anniversary of American independence.

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