Saturday, December 3, 2011

How many Statues of Liberty are there in Paris?

The Statue of Liberty near the Pont de Grenelle
 is 37 ft, 9 in (11.50 m) high,
one-fourth the size of the one in New York.

If you would have asked me how many statues of Lady Liberty there are in Paris before I moved here, I hope that I would have remembered the one located on the Ile aux Cignes near the Pont de Grenelle. In fact, she's one of the main reasons why I took our apartment because her alignment with the Eiffel Tower as viewed from our balcony serves as a metaphor for my life. We have an immediate bond, a kinship, because we're both Americans in Paris.

The Statue of Liberty in front of the Musée des Arts et Métiers is 9 ft. 4 in (2.86m),
one-sixteenth the size of the one in New York,

So, it came as a bit of a surprise to come across another bronze statue of her in front of the Musée des Arts et Métiers and to realize that "my" Lady Liberty isn't alone. It turns out that she has an entire posse of friends - or clones of varying sizes - in some surprising locations around the city.


Here she is stuck in a display case, along with official certificates signed by the newly elected presidents of France, such as Chirac, Mitterand and Sarkozy, when the mayor of Paris received them at the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall) immediately after the presidential elections. Lady Liberty has friends in high places and hangs out with an impressive crowd.


And here's an exact replica of Lady Liberty's gilded torch, the Flame of Liberty, that is located near the Pont de l'Alma. In 1989, it was given to the city by the International Herald Tribune to celebrate its 100th anniversary (1887-1987) of publishing an English-language daily newspaper in Paris. More importantly, the flame also symbolizes the long-lasting friendship between France and the United States. It is, however, more frequently thought of as the unofficial memorial for Diana, Princess of Wales. who died in the tunnel beneath the Pont de l'Alma in 1997.

I'll save the story of the statue's construction for another day. In the meantime, I'm off to figure out how to bid online for the Hermes scarf with a Statue of Liberty motif that will be auctioned in Chicago this weekend. Many thanks to Joseph for finding something that I just can't resist. After all, Lady Liberty is my kindred spirit!

Photo: Leslie Hindman Auctioneers


9 comments:

  1. There's another one in le Jardin du Luxembourg!

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  2. I'm pretty sure there's a Statue of Liberty in the Luxembourg Gardens, lost somewhere in the trees. I can almost see it. I may have to pull out my paper photos of my past trips to Paris to find it. Or maybe I can find record of it in Wurman's Access Paris. I'm pretty sure it's there. (Of course, I was pretty sure Hemingway's last American home was just up the street from where I live too--turns out, it's where he lived after his honeymoon with Hadley. I'm good at invention.)

    I'm very happy you like the Hermes scarf, Now let's get it!

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  3. Yes, I just googled it and found it. Now, no googling for you Mary Kay--go find it!

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  4. Anne and Joseph, So there is another Statue of Liberty somewhere in the Luxemburg Gardens that I've never seen, in spite of numerous visits, and you won't tell me exactly where it is? This sounds like a serious challenge. Do I get any clues or am I just supposed to wander around the gardens until I find her?

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  5. I think of the Statue of Liberty as French, especially the one standing on the Pont de Grenelle.

    Stéphane

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  6. The statue in the Luxembourg Garden is in the Western part of the garden in one of the subsections along rue Guynemer.

    Also, "we're both Americans in Paris", that's a way of seeing things, but actually the Statue, the "original" one is more of a French in NYC, than the other way around. :-)

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  7. That's really interesting. Mary, you should write a guide book to Paris. I've found out so many fascinating snippets about the city from your blog in just a few weeks.

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  8. David, Very interesting point about the Statue of Liberty being French! That's exactly what my husband (Stephane from Switzerland) said and it struck me as kind of odd because I've always considered her to be an American, even though she was made in France. Maybe I'll have to do a post and some sort of unofficial poll to ask if people think of her as French or American.

    And thanks for pinpointing her location in the Luxembourg Garden.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog. As it's written by a Frenchman in France in English, I'm sure that I'll learn a lot. Thanks for commenting!

    Steph, A guidebook would be a bit too daunting of a project for me, plus there are so many good ones around. The ones I have, however, don't say much about the Statue of Liberty. I'm pleased that you find it interesting.

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  9. Well, let's say it has been naturalized American. ;-)
    What I implied is that the ones in Paris should be seen more as various versions of the same work (the one in NYC included) and not as copies or spin offs of the one in NYC. Not sure I make sense.

    Thanks for the kind word about the blog.

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