France will send the United States a new Statue of Liberty on June 7, Le Journal du Dimanche reported on Sunday. The statue will arrive in New York on July 4, U.S. Independence Day, and represents the historic ties between France and the United States. The statue will be much smaller than its big sister, reaching 2.83 meters.
The Statue of Liberty that can be seen today off the coast of New York was a 19th century gift from France to celebrate the first century of independence from the United States. “We wanted to reconnect with this Franco-American history”, declared the French Ambassador to the United States Philippe Etienne, adding that the Statue of Liberty “is a double symbol, of freedom, but also of welcome”.
Le Journal du Dimanche reports that when the idea was conceived in July 2019, it aimed to show the United States that “France has remained faithful to the spirit of friendship” between the two countries which has its origin in their common history. France supported what would become the United States in the American War of Independence.
The project was however postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed during the winter. The statue will be celebrated when it leaves Paris, its first arrival in the United States in New York, and then when it arrives at its destination on July 14.
The monument will be placed in the garden of the residence of the French Ambassador in Washington, DC, where it will remain for ten years on loan from the Conservatory of the Quai d’Orsay.
France’s move comes as the United States’ approach to Europe feels the effects of Biden’s election. Relations have improved dramatically, although some have complained about the persistence of exceptionalism.