The original 151-foot tall Statue of Liberty stands in Liberty Island, next to Manhattan in New York. It was designed by the French sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi and presented to the United States in 1886 as a gift from the people of France, where it became a symbol of the ideals of freedom and democracy that the United States has tried to uphold throughout its history. As the statue has come to symbolise so much, it is not surprising that hundreds of public replicas of it have spread to distant parts of the world, from Australia to Japan to Ukraine. France alone has almost a dozen Liberties, and the United States, naturally, has plenty of them dotted around, but replicas of the Statue of Liberty are to be found hidden in the strangest corners of the world. Here is a taste of some of the most weird and wonderful replicas out there.
Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris, France. A bronze model used by Bartholdi himself during the making of the original Statue of Liberty stands in this famous, beautiful Parisian park. The artist himself donated the statue to the Luxembourg Museum, and it has stood in the gardens since 1889, three years after the original was unveiled in New York.
Île aux Cygnes, Paris, France. Another Liberty stands on the man-made Island of Swans (Île aux Cygnes) in the river Seine in Paris. The island is often called Liberty Island, now, as a result of its guest. Like the Jardin du Luxembourg statue, it was unveiled in 1889, a hundred years after the French Revolution. The 72-foot high statue originally faced towards the Eiffel Tower, to the east, but was turned around in 1937 during the Paris World’s Fair. Interestingly, during its construction, the head of the original Statue of Liberty was first exhibited at the Paris World’s Fair of 1878.
New York, New York Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, United States. Outside this famous New York themed hotel and casino stands a half-size replica Statue of Liberty. It caused a tremendous furore in April 2011, when the United States Postal Service admitted that it had accidentally printed three billion stamps based on a photo of this replica, rather than of the original statue itself.
Liberty Let’s Roll. An unusual version of the Statue of Liberty performing a kung-fu style side-kick frequently tours the United States. The statue, called ‘Liberty Let’s Roll,’ was created by the Idaho artist Irene Juliet Deely as a reflection and commemoration of the events of September 11th 2001 in America. Its title is inspired by the words and actions of Todd Beamer, one of the passengers on board the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, whose last known words before mounting the counter-attack that took down the plane were “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.”
RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk, England. A small replica statue stands on this military airbase, home of the 48th Fighter Wing, which is also known as the Liberty Wing. The statue itself would be unremarkable were it not for the fact that it is made out of leftover copper from the original statue.
Guangzhou, China. Amazingly, considering China’s political persuasion, a Statue of Liberty can be found in Guangzhou. It stands on top of the memorial to the 72 Martyrs of Huanghuagang, a massacre during the failed Huanghuagang Uprising of 1910. During the 1989 protests in Tienanmen Square in Beijing, another statue was briefly erected, but it didn’t last long.
Lviv, Ukraine. The Statue of Liberty in Ukraine is unique, as it is the world’s only seated Liberty. Sculpted in the late 1800s by Leandro Marconi, she perches comfortably on a dome on the roof of a house in Freedom Avenue.
Tokyo, Japan. In 1998-1999 the French copy of the State of Liberty visited Odaiba in Tokyo as part of the ‘French Year’ in Japan. It proved to be an extremely popular attraction, so popular, in fact, that when the statue returned home to France the Japanese authorities commissioned another to replace it. The new replica was installed in 2000, and has proven equally attractive to visitors. Japan also has several other replicas of the Statue of Liberty, one of which is installed in Shimoda, on the same latitude as the original in New York. Another Japanese Liberty, located in Ishinomaki, was damaged in the 2011 tsunami in Japan.