Out of all of Americas symbols, none has proved more enduring or evocative than theStatue of Liberty. This giant figure, torch in hand and clutching a stone tablet, has for acentury acted as a figurehead for the American Dream; indeed there is probably no moreimmediately recognizable profile in existence. Its worth remembering that the statue is - forAmericans at least - a potent reminder that the USA is a land of immigrants: it was New YorkHarbor where the first big waves of European immigrants arrived, their ships entering throughthe Verrazano Narrows to round the bend of the bay and catch a first glimpse of LibertyEnlightening the World - an end of their journey into the unknown, and the symbolicbeginning of a new life.
These days, although only the very wealthy can afford to arrive here by sea, and a would-beimmigrants first (and possibly last) view of the States is more likely to be the customs checkat JFK Airport, Liberty remains a stirring sight, with Emma Lazaruss poem, The New Colossus,written originally to raise funds for the statues base, no less quotable than when it waswritten
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whoseflame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-handGlows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin citiesframe. Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp! cries she With silent lips.Give me your tired,your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse to your teemingshore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
The statue, which depicts Liberty throwing off her shackles and holding a beacon to lightthe world, was the creation of the French sculptor Frdric Auguste Bartholdi, who crafted it ahundred years after the American Revolution in recognition of solidarity between the Frenchand American people (though its fair to add that Bartholdi originally intended the statue forAlexandria in Egypt). Bartholdi built Liberty in Paris between 1874 and 1884, starting with aterracotta model and enlarging it through four successive versions to its present size, aconstruction of thin copper sheets bolted together and supported by an iron frameworkdesigned by Gustave Eiffel. The arm carrying the torch was exhibited in Madison Square Parkfor seven years, but the whole statue wasnt officially accepted on behalf of the Americanpeople until 1884, after which it was taken apart, crated up and shipped to New York.
It was to be another two years before it could be properly unveiled: money had to becollected to fund the construction of the base, and for some reason Americans wereunwilling - or unable - to dip into their pockets. Only through the campaigning efforts ofnewspaper magnate Joseph Pulitzer, a keen supporter of the statue, did it all come togetherin the end. Richard Morris Hunt built a pedestal around the existing star-shaped Fort Wood,and Liberty was formally dedicated by President Cleveland on October 28, 1886, in a flag-waving shindig that has never really stopped. The statue was closed for a few years in the mid-1980s for extensive renovation and, in 1986, fifteen million people descended on Manhattanfor the statues centennial celebrations.
Today you can climb steps up to the crown, but the cramped stairway though the torchsadly remains closed to the public. Dont be surprised if theres an hour-long wait to ascend.Even if there is, Liberty Parks views of the lower Manhattan skyline, the twin towers of theWorld Trade Center lording it over the jutting teeth of New Yorks financial quarter, arespectacular enough.自由女神像游览景观