1. It was crowd-funded. The statue of liberty was very short on funds during much of its construction. A sculptor named Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design the statue in France. When it was sent to the United States, the pedestal it was supposed to rest on was not completed. The City of New York had not yet gathered funds to build it. Luckily, a newspaper entrepreneur, Joseph Pulitzer, created a paper campaign asking for small donations from the American public. Americans, including children who would donate their pennies of lunch money, were able to raise the $270,000 needed to complete the pedestal, and the statue was erected in 1886.
2. The statue arrived in America the color of a brand new penny. Through year of weathering, the statue has gained its iconic greenish-blue color.
3. The original statue was chained. When Bartholdi created the first models, the statue’s hands were holding broken chains to signify the end of slavery. American financiers were not too keen on the idea, so Bartholdi replaced the chains with a tablet. Bartholdi, however, left broken chains at the feet of Lady Liberty to remind us of the freedom from oppression and servitude. These chains are unseen by visitors as they sit atop the pedestal, however, they can be seen from an aerial view.
4. The statue’s full name is Liberty Enlightening the World
5. The statue’s appearance is based on Libertas, the Roman goddess of Freedom.
6. If the statue were to be fitted for a shoe, it would wear a size 879.
7. To reach the crown, visitors must climb 354 stairs.
8. The seven spikes on the crown represent the seven oceans and seven continents of the world, indicating a universal concept of liberty.
9. The statue is hit by an average of 600 bolts of lightning each year.
10 During high winds, the statue can sway 3 inches, and the torch can sway 5.