The Statue of Liberty was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States and is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. It was dedicated in 1886 and designated as a National Monument in 1924.
The neoclassical bronze sculpture was placed on what was re named Liberty Island in New York Harbour .It was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdiand its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel.
The statue was built in France, shipped overseas in crates, and assembled on the completed pedestal on what was then called Bedloe’s Island. The statue’s completion was marked by New York’s first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland.
The statue is a figure of Libertas, the Roman goddess of liberty. She holds a torch above her head with her right hand, and in her left hand carries a tabula ansata inscribed JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776, in Roman numerals), the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. A broken chain and shackle lie at her feet as she walks forward, commemorating the national abolition of slavery following the American Civil War.
After its dedication the statue became an icon of freedom and of the United States, being subsequently seen as a symbol of welcome to immigrants arriving by sea.