Morris Pesin Drive
Jersey City, NJ 07305
|E-mail This Page to a Friend|
By Benjamin Levine and Isabelle F. Story|
National Park Service, 1961
This Web Version
During all the furore of fund raising and pedestal building in the United States, Bartholdi in France had continued to work on his colossal' statue. In a letter to the chairman of the American Committee, dated December 19, 1882, he wrote: "Our work advances. The Statue commences to reach above the houses, and by next spring we shall see it overlook the entire city, as the large monuments of Paris now do."
By 1884, all the pieces of the statue had been put together and it stood a veritable colossus overlooking all the roof tops of Paris. It could have been completed in 1883, but since the pedestal was not ready for it, work on the statue was slowed a bit.
On June 11, 1884, Levi P. Morton, the Minister of the United States to France, gave a banquet in honor of the Franco-American Union and in celebration of the completion of the statue. Present were many of those who had been most interested in the movement. Missing was Edouard de Laboulaye, who had died in 1883.
At the banquet it was recalled that Bartholdi had given 10 years of his life to the great work, putting into it both his ability as a sculptor and his love of freedom. July 4 was the day selected for the formal delivery of the statue. On that day Count Ferdinand de Lesseps, builder of the Suez Canal, who had succeeded De Laboulaye as president of the FrancoAmerican Union, presented to the United States, through Minister Morton, the colossal Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World.
De Lesseps, in closing his presentation address, said: