Francois Mori / AP
The Statue of Liberty will celebrate Independence Day with its little sister this year.
One hundred and thirty-five years after gifting the original Lady Liberty, France is sending a second, smaller Statue of Liberty across the Atlantic just in time for America’s 4th of July festivities. The fraternal bronze statue, nicknamed the “little sister”, has been in France since its completion in 2009.
The statue has a lot to admire in its big sister. Standing at 9 feet and weighing nearly 1,000 pounds, the replica is one-sixteenth the size of the original.
On June 19, the little brother will board a ship in Le Havre, a port in Normandy, bound for the port of New York and will be erected opposite the original on Ellis Island after a nine-day voyage. As of June 20, her trip to New York can even be followed live online.
The two statues will face each other from July 1-5, then the smaller one will be taken to Washington, DC, to be installed at the residence of the French Ambassador. The “little sister” will be unveiled there from July 14, Bastille Day, and will remain there for 10 years.
The fraternal statue has spent the last decade in Paris, welcoming visitors to the entrance to the Museum of Arts and Crafts, the National Museum of Arts and Crafts. It was lifted and loaded into a special plexiglass container in a small ceremony on Monday to prepare for its trip to the United States.
Charles Dharapak / AP
The 10-year loan is made possible thanks to a partnership between the Embassy of France in the United States, the National Museum of Arts and Crafts and the CMA CGM Group, the shipping company which participates in the transport of the statue.
“The arrival of the new Statue of Liberty will celebrate the most central value of the Franco-American partnership: freedom,” said the organization. “The technological, artistic and logistical challenges in bringing this new statue to America tell a modern story of successful international cooperation.”
Created as an exact replica of the original plaster model by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi from 1878 preserved by the national museum when donated by the sculptor’s widow in 1907, the statue was the first of an original set of 12 to be cast from the plaster model of Susse Fondeur, a foundry in Paris.
Pascal Confavreux, spokesperson for the French Embassy in Washington, told NPR that the statue was a reminder of the shared values and friendship between France and the United States.
“It’s good to come back to those core values. President Biden and Secretary of State Atony Blinken always say they want to share values internationally, and this statue, which is at the heart of Franco-French friendship. American, embodies that, ”he said. .
Josie Fischels is an intern at the NPR News Desk.