STATUE OF LIBERTY

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         The Statue of Liberty National Monument officially cele­brated her 100th birthday on October 28, 1986. The people of France gave the Statue to the people of the United States one hundred and seventeen years ago in recognition of the friend­ship established during the American Revolution.

        Over the years, the Statue of Liberty has grown to include freedom and democracy as well as this international friend­ship. The sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was commis­sioned to design a sculpture to commemorate the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence.

        The Statue was a joint effort between America and France and it was agreed upon that the American people were to build the pedestal, and the French people were responsible for the Statue and its assembly in the United States. However, lack of funds was a problem on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In France, public fees, various forms of entertainment, and a lot­tery were among the methods used to raise funds. In the Uni­ted States, benefit theatrical events, exhibitions, auctions as­sisted in providing needed funds. Meanwhile in France, Bartholdi required the assistance of an engineer to design such a colossal copper sculpture. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (desig­ner of the Eiffel Tower) was commissioned to design the mas­sive iron pylon and secondary skeletal framework. Back in America, fund raising for the pedestal was going particularly slowly, so Joseph Pulitzer (noted for the Pulitzer Prize) opened up the editorial pages of his newspaper, «The World» to sup­port the fund raising effort. Pulitzer used his newspaper to criticize both the rich who had failed to finance the creation of pedestal construction and the middle class who were con­tent to rely upon the wealthy to provide the funds. Pulitzer’s campaign of harsh criticism was successful. They got the mo­ney. The Statue was placed upon a granite pedestal inside the courtyard of the star-shaped walls of Fort Wood (which had been completed for the War of 1812.) The United States had responsibility for the operation of the Statue of Liberty. Af­ter 1901, the care and operation of the Statue was placed un­der the War Department. A Presidential Proclamation de­clared Fort Wood (and the Statue of Liberty within it) a National Monument on October 15th, 1924. In 1933, the care and administration works of the National Monument were transferred to the National Park Service. On September 7, 1937, jurisdiction of this Service was enlarged to encompass all of Bedloe’s Island and in 1956, the island’s name was changed to Liberty Island.          

 

 

 

QUESTIONS:

  1. Why did the people of France give the Statue to the peo­ple of the United States one hundred and seventeen years ago?
  2. Who was commissioned to design the sculpture?
  3. What was the reason for creating the statue?
  4. What was the responsibility of American and French people while the statue was being created?
  5. What were the methods used to raise funds in France and the United States?
  6. When and how was Bedloe’s Island renamed?

 

 

 

VOCABULARY:

recognition — признание, одобрение

to commission — поручать

to commemorate — праздновать, отмечать

centennial — столетний

joint —  совместный, общий

effort — усилие, попытка

to be responsible for — быть ответственным за что-либо

lack — нехватка

funds — средства, фонды (денежные)

iron — железный

pylon — пилон, опора

skeletal framework — каркас скелета

content — довольный

to rely upon — положиться на кого-либо

harsh — резкий, жесткий

to enlarge — увеличивать, расширять

to encompass — окружать

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