Audio File length: 2.27
English / USA Language: English / USA

 

Hi, my name’s Marcy, and I’m your personal guide. Along with MyWoWo, I’d like to welcome you to one of the Wonders of the World: the Statue of Liberty.

The Statue of Liberty, declared a World Heritage site in 1984, is probably the most famous statue in the world. It took Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi 20 years to complete his work, a gift from France to the USA for the centenary of the Declaration of Independence, and it took a further year to assemble once it arrived, in pieces, in the port of New York.  

And so, in 1886, a little behind schedule, this huge, hollow, bronze statue, took up its place on Liberty Island, began greeting the millions of immigrants arriving in the city from Europe and earning it the popular nickname of the “mother of exiles”!

A century later, the monument underwent renovation, and while the Tablet of Law held in the Statue’s left hand remained unchanged, engraved with the date of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776, the torch in the right hand was replaced with a gold-plated replica.

You can see the original torch in the museum at the base of the pedestal, until the opening, in 2019, of the new Statue of Liberty Museum, which will be larger, more accessible and interactive, and will be located at another area on the island.

At the base of the statue, you can see a number of verses by the poet Emma Lazarus, and at its feet, the broken shackle and chains that symbolize freedom from slavery.

If you’re one of the many sporty people to have booked the popular ascent up to the crown, because you weren’t content with the view from the pedestal which is included in the museum visit, take a deep breath and start climbing the 354 winding steps. Once you reach your destination, under the seven rays of Lady Liberty’s crown representing the seas and the continents, the breath-taking view will be well worth your efforts!

AN INTERESTING FACT: one night in the 1980s, the magician David Copperfield made the colossal statue vanish. The statue did not actually ever move: it was the audience who, without realizing it, turned their backs on it thanks to the carefully calculated movement of the platform they were sitting on along with the talented illusionist. As always, what you see is not always what you get! 

 

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