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The Statue of Liberty Restoration

The French-American Committee for the Restoration of the Statue of Liberty was established in 1981. Following an initial diagnostic report for the NPS, it was determined that substantial work needed to be done. The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation was then formed to raise the needed funds and to oversee the restoration of both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Again, as in the past, private contributions were the backbone of the foundation's success: More than $295 million was collected, with $86 million going to the statue's restoration.

On July 4, 1986, America threw a birthday party for the Statue of Liberty that will not soon be forgotten. With a golden sunset glowing in the background, President Ronald Reagan declared, "We are the keepers of the flame of liberty; we hold it high for the world to see." Later that day, the president pressed a button that sent a laser beam across the water toward the statue. Slowly, dramatically, majestically, a light show unveiled Liberty and her new torch, and the most spectacular fireworks show America had ever seen exploded across the sky.

The Statue of Liberty renovation was indeed one of the greatest undertakings of the twentieth century, requiring $230 million in private funding. The Statue of Liberty many corrosion problems were associated with:

  • Thousands of holes pitting the copper surface caused by a century of salt-air exposure

  • Distortion of the iron framework produced by continuous stress and fatigue

  • Previous repair attempts that created different problems and more deterioration

The Statue of Liberty Restoration Edited by R. Baboian, E.B. Cliver, and E.L. Bellante, 1990 by NACE International, Houston, TX, ISBN 1-877914-12-6

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