Paris honours its long-lost Liberty

8th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 7 (AFP) - Photos of the construction of New York's imposing Statue of Liberty, presented as a symbol of French-US friendship in 1886, have gone on public display for the first time in the French capital.

PARIS, Dec 7 (AFP) - Photos of the construction of New York's imposing Statue of Liberty, presented as a symbol of French-US friendship in 1886, have gone on public display for the first time in the French capital.

Housed at the Musee des Arts et Metiers in central Paris, the exhibition is made up of images bequeathed by the widow of the landmark's creator, Auguste Bartholdi, who died 100 years ago.

About 50 photographs recount the various stages of the statue's construction, which towers more than 90 meters (297 feet) above New York Harbour.

The pictures were taken at the initiative of Bartholdi himself as a way of promoting the project, to which he devoted about 15 years of his life, and to help with fundraising.

France gave the statue to the United States as a symbol of the friendship that started during the American Revolution.

Visitors get a historic insight into the way the construction was created in Paris. When the original architect died, Gustave Eiffel was brought in to help create the statue.

Parisians, including Victor Hugo, were invited to witness a test run of the mounting of the statue in 1884 in the courtyard of the workshop.

Then, carefully dismantled, the statue - itself standing 46.05 metres (151 feet, one inch) tall on a 47-meter pedestal - was taken from Paris to the western French city of Rouen by train, before setting off across the Atlantic.

The "Bartholdi, les batisseurs de la Liberte" (Bartholdi, the Builders of the Liberty) exhibition of photography is at the Musee des Arts et Metiers, until March 6.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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