The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by Frdric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue, a gift to the United States from the people of France, is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States: a welcoming signal to immigrants arriving from abroad. Bartholdi was inspired by French law professor and politician douard Ren de Laboulaye, who commented in 1865 that any monument raised to American independence would properly be a joint project of the French and American peoples.
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