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Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty was first assembled in Paris in 1884, then disassembled and reassembled in the United States at what is now called Liberty Island. Beginning in July 1981, a series of inspections was conducted by the National Park Service and by an International team of engineers and architects. Over a dozen problem areas needing attention were identified:

The problem that most necessitated the restoration of the Statue of Liberty was galvanic corrosion of the iron armature in contact with the copper skin. Galvanic corrosion occurs when dissimilar metals are in electrical contact in the same electrolyte. The difference in electrochemical potential between the dissimilar metals (iron and copper) is the driving force for electrolysis, whereby the armature, forming horizontal anodes at an accelerated rate. The iron armature, forming horizontal and vertical ribs against the copper skin, and the attachment mechanism, whereby copper saddles (which are flush riveted to the copper skin) surround the iron armature, provided a configuration conducive to galvanic corrosion.

Since all of the iron armature was interconnected, only one location of physical contact to the copper skin was necessary to provide electrical continuity to the copper throughout the Statue. The designers of the Statue had tried to prevent this galvanic coupling by insulating the two materials with asbestos cloths soaked in shellac. This was only a temporary barrier that became porous with age and provided electrolytic continuity by wicking and capillary action. (reference)

In 1903 the last words in the sonnet "The New Colossus" by poet Emma Lazarus (1883) was inscribed at the main entrance to the pedestal:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame, "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Other Statue of Liberty topics: Auguste Bartholdi, Construction, Copper, Corrosion, History, Head, Introduction, Model, Picture, Postcard, Restoration, Symbolism

Other landmarks: Christ the Redeemer, Colossus, Delhi pillar, Eiffel tower, Golden Gate bridge, Great Buddha, Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao), Guggenheim Museum (NYC), Normandy bridge, Oresund crossing, Quebec Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Thames Barrier, Titanic, Tower of the Orologio