The Statue of Liberty is the most recognizable symbol of democracy in the world. The 93-meter-high colossus stands at the entrance to New York Harbor, where every Fourth of July she is illuminated by a massive fireworks display celebrating America’s birthday.
A gift from the people of France in 1886, the statue is composed of thinly pounded copper sheets over a steel framework. She was created in Paris by sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and engineer Gustave Eiffel, then disassembled, shipped to New York and reassembled. In her right hand is a torch, representing enlightenment, and in her left is a tablet bearing the date of the Declaration of Independence: July 4, 1776.
In 1984, the Statue of Liberty was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of 936 sites worldwide considered to be of “outstanding universal value.” UNESCO describes her as “a masterpiece of the human spirit.”
Above, the Statue of Liberty stands on Liberty Island, with Ellis Island (now an immigration museum) nearby.