Today's Article - Frédéric Bartholdi

This article is for quizzes on Thursday January 27th..

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (2 August 1834 – 4 October 1904) was a French sculptor who is best known for designing the Statue of Liberty.
Soon after the establishment of the French Third Republic, the project of building some suitable memorial to show the fraternal feeling existing between the republics of the United States and France was suggested, and in 1874 the Union Franco-Americaine (Franco-American Union) was established by Edouard de Laboulaye. Bartholdi's hometown in Alsace, having first lost independence and passing under French control, had just passed into German control in the Franco-Prussian War. These troubles in his ancestral home of Alsace are purported to have further influenced Bartholdi's own great interest in independence, liberty, and self-determination.

The plan of Bartholdi having been approved, the Union Franco-Americaine raised more than 1 million francs throughout France for the building of the statue. In 1879, Bartholdi was awarded design patent U.S. Patent D11,023 for the Statue of Liberty. This patent covered the sale of small copies of the statue. Proceeds from the sale of the statues helped raise modest but insufficient money to build the full statue. While funding for the statue continued to be a problem for years, the idea was compelling enough to survive, and finally funding was completed in some large blocs from within the Union Franco-Americane and their organized efforts with other connections. On 4 July 1880, the statue was formally delivered to the American minister in Paris, the event being celebrated by a great banquet.

Before starting his commission, Bartholdi had traveled to the United States and personally selected Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor as the site for the statue. The United States agreed to responsibility for funding the building of the pedestal, with about $300,000 being raised.

The statue is 151 feet and 1 inch high, and the top of the torch is at an elevation of 305 feet 1 inch from mean low-water mark. It was the largest work of its kind that had ever been completed up to that time, but was the tallest structure in New York City for only four years, until the New York World Building surpassed it at 349 feet in 1890.

It was rumored in France that the face of the Statue of Liberty was modeled after Bartholdi's mother.


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