The miniature Lady Liberty was officially inaugurated in a ceremony with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and French Secretary of State Jean-Yves Le Drian on Wednesday, coinciding with France’s Bastille Day.
“Freedom and Equality – they are very easily translated into English, but there is not a single word in English – brotherhood, sisterhood, solidarity, brotherhood – which I think perfectly captures the essence of Brotherhood,“Blinken said in remarks at the ceremony, referring to the French national motto.
“But I think it’s fair to say so Brotherhood “is the word that best defines the relationship between our people and our ongoing struggle to improve our democracies and promote the ideals that are illuminated in the light that shines the world, at home and around the world,” he said. Then she must keep reminding us of the principles we share and the work left to live up to them. And may we never be healed for longing for freedom. “
The French ambassador Philippe Etienne said “it means a lot” to have the statue in the United States and called it “a strong reminder … of the friendship between the French people and the American people.”
“It’s a reminder of the importance of this value of freedom to the world,” he told CNN, noting that the formal title of the Statue of Liberty is “Liberty Enlightening the World.”
“Little Sister” is an exact copy of the original, but is one-sixth of the size. It was designed by sculptor Auguste Bartholdi’s plaster model from 1878 and was exhibited at the National Museum of Arts and Crafts in Paris for a decade before beginning his journey to the United States.
In early June, the 1,000-pound, nine-foot-tall statue was uninstalled from the museum and placed “in a specially designed plexiglass container specifically for our ‘little sister'”, according to Ed Aldridge, president of CMA CGM North America – the shipping and logistics company to the statue.
Aldridge told CNN that they “took tremendous care and very detailed, thorough planning to make sure (they) did it right.”
“We transported her very carefully to Le Havre, France, where we put her aboard one of our CMA CGM ships and then took her to New Jersey and then loaded her to Ellis Island, and finally we transported her down here to the Ambassador’s. residence, ”he said.
The statue was displayed near his world-famous “big sister” in New York City in early July, and Aldridge told CNN that they were speeding up their ship to get the statue across the Atlantic in time for Independence Day.
Following the inauguration on France’s National Day, the statue will remain in the ambassador’s residence in the US capital for 10 years.
This story has been updated with further details.