In 1870, Auguste Bartholdi began designing “Liberty Enlightening the World”. This was not the first time he had designed a giant statue if a robed woman holding a torch. He had planned on as part of a lighthouse for the Suez Canal in Egypt in 1869. He called it “Egypt Brings Light to Asia”. But, there was a change in plans and that statue was never built.
The statue we call the Statue of Liberty was completed in 1884 and presented to the United States Ambassador to France. It was shipped to the U.S. and assembled in New York in 1886 and dedicated on October 28 of that year. The arm and torch had visited America earlier, in 1876 for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. It was then sent to New York City until 1882.
In 1984 the statue’s original torch was replaced by a copper torch covered in 24k gold leaf.
The statue represents the Roman goddess Libertas and the tablet she holds is inscribed with the date “July 4, 1776″. From toes to torch top, she is 151 feet and 1 inch tall.