Why Was the Statue of Liberty Built?

John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The Statue of Liberty was built as a recognition of the friendship between France and the United States. The statue itself was designed by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, while the pedestal was designed by American architect Richard Morris Hunt. Though the idea was initially conceived in 1865, it took over 20 years for the statue to be completed, with the formal dedication occurring on October 28, 1886.

After the American Revolution, the French government made the Statue of Liberty and gifted it to the United States as a symbol of its support. When the statue was shipped to the U.S., it was in 315 individual pieces that were placed into 214 crates. Once it arrived, the Statue of Liberty was placed in New York’s Harbor and to this day, remains a key tourist attraction for Americans and international visitors. In time, the Statue of Liberty’s symbolism evolved to also include freedom and democracy.