I found this postcard in France earlier this year. It shows the Statue of Liberty in what is clearly France (look at the ‘Vins’ shop sign). I thought it had been taken in pieces to the US and assembled there as a gift from the people of France. I discovered that it was built first in France. The designer, Frédéric Bartholdi had help at various stages from Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel (Tower) and Ferdinand de Lesseps (Suez Canal).
French people did contribute to its cost, but funding was always a problem, and a major fund-raising drive in the US organized by Joseph Pulitzer (Prize) took in contributions from 120,000 Americans, most giving less than a dollar each. It was indeed assembled in France, hence the postcard, but was disassembled and transported in crates to New York, where it was put together and erected on its site, and finally dedicated in 1886. It’s completion was marked by New York’s first ticker tape parade.
Filed under: Updates |