A new, smaller version of the Statue of Liberty arrived Wednesday at Ellis Island in New York Harbor, a gift to the United States from France, 135 years after that nation presented the original Lady Liberty to the U.S.
The nearly-three-meter version of the statue arrived in New York after a nine-day journey across the Atlantic Ocean. The bronze statue is on loan for 10 years to the French embassy in Washington from the French National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts (CNAM). For the past decade it stood at the entrance to the National Museum of Arts and Crafts (the Musée des Arts et Métiers) in Paris.
The French news agency reports the replica was created from a 3-D scan of the original plaster model from 1878 used by sculptor Auguste Bartholdi to build “La Liberté enlightening the world” offered by France to the United States in honor of its centennial in 1886.
During a ceremony in Paris earlier in June, as the replica was being packed up to be shipped, CNAM administrator Olivier Faron said the smaller statue is meant to reaffirm the friendship between France and the United States.
At the same ceremony, the interim deputy head of mission at the U.S. embassy in Paris, Liam Wasley, called the replica a reminder of the strong links between the U.S. and France, “the liberty that we share and the importance that each generation maintain that liberty.”
The new “little sister” Statue of Liberty will be formally welcomed in a ceremony Thursday and stand facing its 93-meter big sister through July 4 Independence Day celebrations.
It will then be shipped to Washington to be installed at the French ambassador’s residence. The “little sister” will be unveiled there beginning July 14, France’s Bastille Day, and remain there for 10 years.