September 19, 2021

Jean-Yves Le Drian inaugurates a small Statue of Liberty in Washington

‘The little sister has arrived’, welcomed Philippe Étienne, the French ambassador to Washington. Some 135 years after the arrival of her big sister in New York, a statue of Liberty in a scale model was installed in Washington, in testimony of Franco-American friendship, at the end of a journey surrounded by multiple precautions since Paris. ‘She spent a week in New York, for the American National Day – Independence Day – she was on Ellis Island, she was looking at her big sister. And now, here it is for July 14, ‘he added.

The approximately 3-meter-high statue was inaugurated on Wednesday afternoon by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, accompanied by his American counterpart, Antony Blinken.

‘Fraternity’

It is urgent to reaffirm the values symbolized by the statue, such as freedom, emancipation, law, insisted the two heads of diplomacy, stressing the continuity of the ‘brotherhood’ between France and the United States.

‘In front of the brutalization of the world, the reinforced conflicts everywhere, the competition of the powers, the refusal of the rules, it is important to recall the fundamentals. And the fundamentals, we share them, ‘said Jean-Yves Le Drian.

‘Our partnership, our work together, our common destiny is as important – I would say even more important – today than ever. We both have the feeling, together, to continue this remarkable journey with the United States and France, together ‘, confided, in French, Antony Blinken.

Sarcophagus trip

The bronze statue now sits in the garden of the residence of the French Ambassador to the United States, after a transit that saw it pass not far from Liberty Island, south of Manhattan, where the monumental work is erected. ‘Liberty Enlightening the World’.

On loan from the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts (CNAM) and cast on the same mold as that used by sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the statue traveled in a specially designed plexiglass sarcophagus and strapped in a container transported by the French shipowner CMA-CGM.