Did you know that the Statue of Liberty almost never got built, much less make it to New York City?  The copper statue, a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886, nearly 20 years after the idea was hatched.  These photos tell the amazing story of how it came to be...

After Bartholdi returned to Paris in 1877, he began working on the head of Lady Liberty.  He was in constant fundraising mode at the same time, often selling tickets to visit the construction activity at his Gaget, Guthier, and Co. workshop.  With the Americans now fully on board, he moved quickly and completed the head just in time to be displayed at the Paris World Fair in 1878, as seen above. 

From start to finish, the Statue took around 15 years to complete, as the process was both complicated and one of the first large-scale projects of its kind to be undertaken in France.  Here you see some of the more detailed work on the arm, which was completed just after the head. 

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The Amazing Evolution of the Statue of Liberty (12 Photos)