The Statue of Liberty's original plaster model from 1878 is on its way to New York City.
The model, a nine-foot-tall bronze statue created by Auguste Bartholdi, will make the historic trip across the Atlantic Ocean from France in time for the Fourth of July. On July 1-4, it will take its place on Ellis Island across the way from the actual Statue of Liberty.
This will be the first time in 135 years that the "sisters" will be together.
The 1,000-pound sculpture was just uninstalled at the Conservatoire national des arts et metiers (Cnam), where it had been on display at the entrance for the past 10 years. The Embassy of France in the United States is orchestrating the trip, which will see the statue encased in a specially designed Plexiglass case within a shipping container.
It'll take the CMA CGM TOSCA, an 8,500 TEU shipping barge in Le Havre, France, and sail for about nine days before reaching NYC. Once it finishes its stint on Ellis Island, it'll take a road trip via CEVA Logistics to the French Ambassador's home in Washington, D.C. to be unveiled on Bastille Day.
This whirlwind trip is meant to celebrate the partnership between France and the U.S., organizers say. To follow the "little sister's" voyage, you can search the hashtag #ViveLaLiberty on social media or head to franceintheus.org/ViveLaLiberty. You can also enter to win a creative contest to win a LEGO Architecture Statue of Liberty, a France-Amerique magazine subscription and Albertine Books membership and more, just check out the French Embassy's Instagram account, @franceintheus.
And while you probably haven't visited the Statue of Liberty in a while, it could be worth seeing its "little sister"— while it's in town. It seems like a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a piece of U.S. (and French) history before your eyes.
🗽 Un modèle réduit de la statue de la Liberté conservé au musée des Arts et Métiers à Paris a débuté aujourd'hui le voyage qui l'amènera jusqu'à la résidence de l'ambassadeur de France aux Etats-Unis le 14 juillet 🎥 #AFP #AFPTV pic.twitter.com/9unpgUNDXR— Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) June 7, 2021