The statue is of a female figure standing upright, dressed in a robe and a seven point spiked rays representing a nimbus (halo), holding a stone tablet close to her body in her left hand and a flaming torch high in her right hand. The tablet bears the words "JULY IV MDCCLXXVI" (July 4, 1776), commemorating the date of the United States Declaration of Independence.
The statue is made of a sheeting of pure copper, hung on a framework of steel (originally puddled iron) with the exception of the flame of the torch, which is coated in gold leaf. It stands atop a rectangular stonework pedestal with a foundation in the shape of an irregular eleven-pointed star. The statue is 151 feet 1 inch tall, with the pedestal and foundation adding another 154 feet.
Worldwide, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable icons of the United States, and, more generally, represents liberty and escape from oppression. The Statue of Liberty was, from 1886 until the jet age, often one of the first glimpses of the United States for millions of immigrants after ocean voyages from Europe. Visually, the Statue of Liberty appears to draw inspiration from il Sancarlone or the Colossus of Rhodes.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Written in 1883 by Emma Lazarus to raise funds for the statue's pedestal. The poem would became associated with the immigrants coming to America searching for a better life for themselves and their families. Forged in bronze in 1903 it was placed inside the Statue's pedestal. Since 1986 the plaque has been displayed in the Statue of Liberty Museum.
More than 12 million immigrants entering the United States between 1892 and 1954 have looked to her for freedom and prosperity. Her proud stare has welcomed people from all over the world with a sense of comfort. Commissioned by the United States and France in 1876. It was to commemorate the centennial of our Declaration of Independence. Designed by French sculpture Fredric Auguste Bartholdi and assisted by Engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel designed the structure and built the statue in 350 individual pieces which was shiped and arrived in New York Harbor in June of 1884. The Statue was assembled in a four months time. On October 28th, 1886 the dedication took place. Still to this day The Statue of Liberty represents freedom and justice for all.
Official site of the U.S. monument the Statue of Liberty: www.nps.gov/stli