The Statue of Liberty is a colosssal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in the middle of New York Harbor in Manhattan, New York City. The statue, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi with the assistance of the engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (designer of the Eiffel Tower) was a gift from the French people to the United States as a recognition of the friendship
established during the American Revolution. Over the years, the Statue of Liberty's symbolism
has grown to include freedom and democracy as well as this international friendship.
The statue is of a female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tablet evoking the law upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration Independence, July 4, 1776. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States: a welcoming signal to immigrants arriving from abroad.
Due to the troubled political situation in France, the work on the statue did not start until the early 1870s. Therefore the Statue was a joint effort between the US and France and it was agreed upon that the American people were to provide the site and build the pedestal and the French people were responsible for the Statue and its assembly in the United States. However, lack of funds was a problem on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In France, public fees, various forms of entertainment, and a lottery were among the methods used to raise funds. In the United States, benefit theatrical events, art exhibitions, auctions and prize fights assisted in providing needed funds.Financing for the pedestal was completed in August, 1885 and the pedestal construction was finished in April, 1886. The Statue was completed in France in July, 1884 and arrived in New York Harbor in June, 1885 on board the French frigate "Isere" which transported the Statue of Liberty from France to the United States. In transit, the Statue was reduced to 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates. The Statue was re-assembled on her new pedestal in four months´ time. On October 28th,1886, the dedication of the Statue of Liberty took place in front of thousands of spectators.