Friday, October 28, 2005

Dedication of the Statue of Liberty

1886 The 49 m-tall statue of ‘Liberty Enlightening the World’ was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Grover Cleveland. She was created by French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi. It has been said that the face is that of his mother.

The original idea of the Statue of Liberty was not received well by either the US federal nor New York state governments. However, due to a campaign stated by publisher Joseph Pulitzer, funds were raised for the American half of the bill in only five months.

In Roman mythology, Liberty is Libertas, the goddess of freedom. Originally a deity of personal freedom, she evolved to become the goddess of the commonwealth. Her temples were found on the Aventine Hill and the Forum. She was depicted on many Roman coins as a female figure wearing a pileus (a felt cap, worn by slaves when they were set free), a wreath of laurels and a spear .

Libertas was presented in 1884 as a gift from the French Grand Orient Temple Masons to the Freemasons of America in celebration of the centenary of the first Masonic Republic, as much as a gift from France to America. The cornerstone of the statue has an inscription that records that it was laid in a Masonic ceremony. It is believed that Bartholdi conceived the original statue as an effigy of the Egyptian goddess Isis, and only later converted it to a ‘Statue of Liberty’ for New York Harbor when it was rejected for the Suez Canal ...

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