One of our favorite fun facts is that there are replicas of the Statue of Liberty in both New York City and in Paris. We’ve just gotten word that one of the replicas in Paris is making its way over to New York City for July 4th to be inaugurated on Ellis Island! It will then travel to Washington D.C. to be on display at the French Ambassador’s Residence for Bastille Day. The effort to bring “Lady Liberty’s Little Sister” to visit the U.S. is part of a 135th anniversary celebration of the Statue of Liberty crossing the Atlantic Ocean (in pieces) and is a partnership effort between the Embassy of France in the U.S., the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (Cnam) and the CMA CGM Group, a shipping logistics company.
The original plaster sculpture, which sculptor Auguste Bartholdi made in his Paris studio, was bequeathed to the Musée des Arts et Métiers (Museum of Arts and Crafts) in the Marais district of Paris by his widow in 1907. In 2005, the French art dealer, Guillaume Duhamel, rediscovered the sculpture while accompanying his son’s elementary school class on a visit there. He convinced the museum to let him create 12 casts from the plaster original (the maximum allowed under French law) using the lost-wax method and the museum would get to keep the first cast. It’s been on display at the museum for the last decade.
The statue was taken down from the museum on June 7, 2021 and put into a plexiglass case custom-designed for the voyage. It will then be taken to the port city of Le Havre, where it will board the CMA CGM TOSCA on June 20th headed for New York in a branded shipping container.
According to a press release from the Embassy of France in the U.S., the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (Cnam) and the CMA CGM Group, “The arrival of the new Lady Liberty will celebrate the most central value of the French-American partnership: freedom. The technological, artistic, and logistical challenges that had to be overcome to bring this new statue to America tell a modern tale of successful international cooperation.”
In celebration, the French Embassy will be hosting a contest on Instagram (@franceintheus) for participants to win LEGO® Architecture Statue of Liberty, a France-Amerique magazine subscription, an Albertine Books membership and more. Starting June 20th, the voyage of Statue of Liberty’s “Little Sister” can be viewed live on the CMA CGM website. The statue is scheduled to arrive in New York by July 1st, when a ceremony will take place on Ellis Island to inaugurate the statue. It will be on display on the island until July 5th after which it will be transported to Washington D.C.. by CEVA Logistics.
You can also see this statue with your tickets to our tour of the abandoned hospitals of Ellis Island, with tickets still available for the July 3 and 4:
Abandoned Hospitals of Ellis Island