France is sending another Statue of Liberty to the US in the hopes of solidifying the two countries’ friendship.
Known as the ‘little sister’, the statue is a much smaller version of the original and stands at just 10 feet tall and weighs 450 kilograms.
Despite the difference in height, the little sister is said to be an exact replica of the Statue of Liberty and was made using the original 1878 plaster model.
The 10ft statue was first made in 2009 and was installed in the National Museum of Arts and Crafts (CNAM) in Paris in 2011, where it had remained ever since.
However, the little sister was packaged up on Monday, June 7, to start it’s journey over to the states. The statue will be erected on Ellis Island on July 1 and will stay up until July 5, CNN reports.
The statue will board a ship at the port city of Le Havre on June 19, where it will then make its way to New York.
Olivier Faron, general administrator of the CNAM, said in a statement:
The statue symbolises freedom and the light around all the world. We want to send a very simple message: Our friendship with the United States is very important, particularly at this moment. We have to conserve and defend our friendship.
The little sister won’t be staying in New York, however; the statue will eventually end up outside the French ambassador’s residence in Washington DC where it will remain for 10 years.
The Statue of Liberty was first erected in New York in 1886, and was a gift to the country from France. French historian André Kaspi said the original gifting came at a time when the two countries were ‘slowly drifting apart’.
The statue is full of symbolism: the seven spikes in its crown are said to represent the sun’s rays extending out around the world, while the tablet it holds is inscribed with the date of America’s independence. The broken chains around its feet also represent the abolishment of slavery in the US.
France funded the statue itself, while America paid for the pedestal on which its stands. On top of this pedestal, the Statue of Liberty reaches a staggering 151 feet.
Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor of the original statue, chose to put it on the formerly named Bedloe’s Island – now known as Liberty Island – because all inbound ships coming into the city passed it at the time.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images