Art@Site Frederic Auguste Bartholdi Statue de la Liberté Bordeaux

Frederic Auguste Bartholdi


Statue de la Liberté

Place Picard, Bordeaux
The small triangular Place Picard in the Chartrons district is home to one of the world's many replicas of the Statue of Liberty. The recently-restored resin model which can be seen today has been in position since 2000, but the presence of the statue on the square goes back much further.
Of course, the marginally better-known full-size version of the statue in New York (full name: 'La Liberté éclairant le monde' or 'Liberty Enlightening the World') was executed to the designs of the French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904) and given by France to the United States in 1886 as a memorial to America's independence.
Around the same time over in Bordeaux, Bartholdi - whose design for a monumental fountain for Esplanade des Quinconces had been rejected in 1857, but later purchased by the city of Lyon where it is now known as Fontaine Bartholdi - was commissioned to produce a fountain to be located on Place Picard. It was to replace a border fountain on Cours Balguerie (that flanks the square) which regularly overflowed; in winter, the resulting ice on the ground was frequently the cause of slips, falls and broken bones… cue a petition signed by citizens for a monumental fountain in the middle of the square.
The new fountain was produced and Bartholdi topped it off with a replica of his already-celebrated Statue of Liberty, in exchange for 42,000 francs. An inauguration ceremony was held on April 27th 1888 in the presence of the then-French president Sadi Carnot. Carnot's schedule that day must have been busy though: the ceremony was wrapped up in under five minutes.
With the advent of the Second World War, the Germans dismantled the statue. There was duality in the thinking behind this 1941 move: not only were they intent on melting it down for reuse as weaponry but it was also a strong symbol that they were seeking to remove from the city.
Details are sketchy from then on: the statue was to be transported to Germany by rail but never got there, either due to accidental misrouting or through disruption by quick-thinking French railway-workers. From then on, there are two theories. Either it was nevertheless melted down by the Germans, or else it was this statue that was miraculously recovered and was later re-erected on the Atlantic oceanfront in Soulac-sur-Mer, 90 kilometres to the north of Bordeaux. The Soulac location is doubly significant: not only is the statue facing out towards its more illustrious counterpart in New York, but it has been positioned near to Pointe de Grave, the northern tip of the Médoc, which was where Marquis de La Fayette, en route from Pauillac on board the ship La Victoire in 1777, made a final stop before crossing the Atlantic and becoming a hero as general in the American Revolutionary War.
Back on Place Picard in Bordeaux, it would be around 60 years before the Statue of Liberty made a reappearance, this time in the shape of a resin replica manufactured by la Réunion des Musées Nationaux that was erected in 2000. Subsequent to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the city council added a plaque to the plinth dedicating the statue to the memory of those who died.
The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in the middle of New York Harbor, in Manhattan, New York City. The statue, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886, was a gift to the United States from the people of France. The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States: a welcoming signal to immigrants arriving from abroad.
Bartholdi was inspired by French law professor and politician édouard René de Laboulaye, who is said to have commented in 1865 that any monument raised to American independence would properly be a joint project of the French and American peoples. He may have been minded to honor the Union victory in the American Civil War and the end of slavery. Due to the troubled political situation in France, work on the statue did not commence until the early 1870s. In 1875, Laboulaye proposed that the French finance the statue and the Americans provide the site and build the pedestal. Bartholdi completed the head and the torch-bearing arm before the statue was fully designed, and these pieces were exhibited for publicity at international expositions.
The torch-bearing arm was displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, in 1876, and in New York's Madison Square Park from 1876 to 1882. Fundraising proved difficult, especially for the Americans, and by 1885 work on the pedestal was threatened due to lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World started a drive for donations to complete the project that attracted more than 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar. The statue was constructed in France, shipped overseas in crates, and assembled on the completed pedestal on what was then called Bedloe's Island. The statue's completion was marked by New York's first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland.
The statue was administered by the United States Lighthouse Board until 1901 and then by the Department of War; since 1933 it has been maintained by the National Park Service. The statue was closed for renovation for much of 1938. In the early 1980s, it was found to have deteriorated to such an extent that a major restoration was required. While the statue was closed from 1984 to 1986, the torch and a large part of the internal structure were replaced. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, it was closed for reasons of safety and security; the pedestal reopened in 2004 and the statue in 2009, with limits on the number of visitors allowed to ascend to the crown. The statue, including the pedestal and base, was closed for a year until October 28, 2012, so that a secondary staircase and other safety features could be installed; Liberty Island remained open. However, one day after the reopening, Liberty Island closed due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy; the statue and island opened again on July 4, 2013. Public access to the balcony surrounding the torch has been barred for safety reasons since 1916.
"The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World" was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States and is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886. It was designated as a National Monument in 1924. Employees of the National Park Service have been caring for the colossal copper statue since 1933.
The Statue of Liberty was a joint effort between France and the United States, intended to commemorate the lasting friendship between the peoples of the two nations. The French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi created the statue itself out of sheets of hammered copper, while Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the man behind the famed Eiffel Tower, designed the statue's steel framework. The Statue of Liberty was then given to the United States and erected atop an American-designed pedestal on a small island in Upper New York Bay, now known as Liberty Island, and dedicated by President Grover Cleveland in 1886. Over the years, the statue stood tall as millions of immigrants arrived in America via nearby Ellis Island; in 1986, it underwent an extensive renovation in honor of the centennial of its dedication. Today, the Statue of Liberty remains an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy, as well as one of the world's most recognizable landmarks.
On the occasion of the Exposition Universelle of 1900, Bartholdi crafted a smaller version of the Statue of Liberty, which he subsequently gave to the Musee du Luxembourg. In 1905, the statue was placed outside the museum in the Jardin du Luxembourg, where it stood for over a century, until 2012.
It currently stands at the entrance to the Musee d'Orsay; a newly constructed bronze replica stands in its place in the Jardin du Luxembourg.
The date written on this statue's tablet (where the New York statue has"JULY IV MDCCLXXVI") is"15 novembre 1889" (November 15, 1889), the date at which the larger Parisian replica was inaugurated.