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Saturday, 05 December 2015 00:00

Liberty statue inspired by an Arab Woman: Researchers Suez claims

The Statue of Liberty, a symbol of democracy and freedom that has greeted countless immigrants to U.S. shores, was inspired by a project representing an Arab woman guarding the Suez Canal, researchers said. The recent findings are especially startling for some in the U.S. amid a heated debate over the arrival of refugees from war-scarred Syria and other Muslim-majority countries.

 French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who travelled to Egypt in 1855-1856, developed there a “passion for large-scale public monuments and colossal sculptures”, said the U.S. National Park Service, which guards the Statue of Liberty in New York. When the Egyptian government sought proposals in 1869 to build a lighthouse for the Suez Canal, Bartholdi designed a huge statue of a robed woman holding a torch, which he called “Egypt (or Progress) Brings Light to Asia”.

 The sculpture originally took the “form of a veiled peasant woman”, explained Barry Moreno, who has written about the statue, as quoted by the U.S.-funded Smithsonian Institution. “Bartholdi produced a series of drawings in which the proposed statue began as a gigantic female fellah, or Arab peasant, and gradually evolved into a colossal goddess,” said Edward Berenson, who has also written about the subject.

Read 7130 times Last modified on Sunday, 06 December 2015 12:15