The Statue of Liberty In Paris, France, Before Being Brought To The U.S. 1886 (Colorized)

February 1, 2021

It Took It Quite A While (And A Lot Of Money) To Get It Here

The Statue of Liberty came to sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi in a dream. In his fantasy he was on a ship drifting towards the shores of New York City where he was being welcomed by the very spirit of liberty. It didn't take long for Bartholdi to draft up a statue based on his dream, but as grand as his design was Americans weren't interested in paying for it. The French, however, felt that it would be the perfect way to congratulate America on 100 years as a nation.

Constructed in France and presented to Ambassador Levi Morton on July 4, 1884, at a ceremony in Paris, this was only the beginning of Lady Liberty's life. After France agreed to pay for her trip across the Atlantic the statue stayed put in Paris while a pedestal was constructed off the shores of Manhattan.

Photos of the Statue of Liberty are grand no matter which way you slice it, but to see its construction in full color, long before it was planted in the waters surrounding the Big Apple, is a true sight to behold, and one that shows the true beauty of this amazing gift.

source: jecini

Under the watchful eye of Bartholdi, a group of craftsmen began working in earnest on the Statue of Liberty in 1876. The crew didn't build the statue as one giant piece, and instead treated the statue as sections of an installation. The first section completed in 1876 was the arm holding the torch and it was shown at that years Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.

It would be another two years before the head and shoulders were completed. They were premiered at the Paris Universal Exposition. At the time of her construction the statue was a copper color, not the iconic green that we're used to today. No matter the color, Lady Liberty is imposing and breathtaking at 305 feet in height.

Expensive taste

source: AP

As was said previously, Americans didn't want to pay for the Statue of Liberty, so the French decided to give it to the United States as a gift. Still, someone had to pay for it. The French took up a collection of 2,250,000 francs, which equaled $250,000 American at the time. Thanks to inflation that's millions of dollars today. It's absolutely wild to think that France was so set on giving America a gift that they dropped such major coin, but they really wanted to offer their congratulations.

At the end of the day both France and America took part in fundraisers to make enough money for the construction, shipping, and reconstruction of the statue, but it took much longer than anyone anticipated. That being said, it's nice to see a couple of countries getting along in the name of solidarity, kindness, an end to slavery, and aesthetically pleasing statues.