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Lego Statue of Liberty-Madison Square Park-NYCImage via Trevor O’Brien

In celebration of the new LEGO store in the Flatiron, there’s a 20-foot version of the Statue of Liberty in Madison Square Park, built over the course of four days with the help of passerby, children and tourists. Three master LEGO builders were on hand for the project. What’s even cooler is the backstory (we’re not sure if this was conscious on LEGO’s part, however). When the Statue of Liberty first arrived the United States, its torch was displayed in Madison Square Park to raise money for the construction of the pedestal. It sat near 25th Street across from General Worth Square. As the story goes, French politician Edoard Labouaye in 1870 proposed the statue as a gesture of goodwill between the two countries but Americans were critical of it, claiming that the U.S. shouldn’t have to contribute to a gift meant for them. `

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Statue of Liberty’s Torch in Madison Square. Image via The Visual Blog. See more vintage photos of the Statue of Liberty here.

There are many other statue of liberty versions both here in New York City and in Paris. And find out who they think the Statue of Liberty is actually modeled after (not Bartholdi’s mom, as previously thought!)

LEGO also put up other works around Madison Square, including Superman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, a NYC firefighter,

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