More than 130 years after France gifted the U.S. the Statue of Liberty, another smaller Lady Liberty is making her way across the Atlantic.
On Monday, a 10-foot bronze replica of the Statue of Liberty, made from the original plaster cast, set sail onboard a container ship from a French port, The Associated Press reported. The mini Lady Liberty is now voyaging to Washington, D.C.
But before the statue arrives in the nation's capital, it will make a pit stop in New York's Ellis Island to celebrate the Fourth of July alongside the original statue that welcomed immigrants to the U.S. in the early 20th century.
The statue is scheduled to arrive in New York on July 1.
After its stay in Ellis Island, the mini statue will continue to D.C., where it will be displayed in the gardens of the French Embassy. The statue is scheduled to arrive just in time for Bastille Day celebrations on July 14. It will stand in the French Embassy gardens for the next decade.
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the U.S. in 1885, as a symbol of the Franco-American friendship. Designed by sculptor Auguste Bartholdi, the statue was meant to symbolize the American welcome of immigrants and refugee seekers. He created the larger version in New York harbor with the help of Gustave Eiffel (who built Paris's most famous monument).
The Statue of Liberty "is like our Eiffel Tower," U.S. Embassy representative Liam Wasley said at the ceremony in Paris, according to The AP. Wasley said the statue not only symbolizes liberty but "the richness of our relationship" with France.
Before making its trans-Atlantic journey, the mini Lady Liberty had been displayed at the Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris.
"Franco-American friendship will be marked under the sign of liberty," Olivier Faron, general administrator of Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, told Reuters. "A new era in relations between France and the United States will open up, that's what we want."
Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.
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