.20 Friday, June 13, 1986
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Entry into the arm was made by
climbing a 54-rung ladder. Visitors
were barred from the arm in 1917.
Officially, the arm was closed because
it accomodate only 12 tourists at a
time and congestion had become a
problem. But rumors flew that the
arm had been weakened by a huge
explosion the year before. Set off by
German saboteurs on Jersey City
docks less than half a mile away from
the statue, New York harbor looked
as if it was under bombardment for
eight hours from exploding war
materiel. As a few shells from the ex-
plosion actually fell on Bedloe's
Island, the Statue stood serenely and
After having lunch served in her right leg
and her head installed two feet off center,
it's a wonder that Miss Liberty has had any
dignity these last 100 years.
A 1956 congressional resolution
changed the name of Bedloe's Island
to Liberty Island. Some critics
charged that the change had a
Madison Avenue ring to it. Others
said it was spurred by a Cold War
atmosphere that portrayed the United
States as the chief defender of
freedom around the globe.
ARTHUR J. MAGIDA
Special to The Jewish News
Most experts agree that
Bartholdi's model for the Statue was
his mother. Several legends claim that
the model was the young, middle-
class Alsatian woman whom Bartholdi
later married. Or Mrs. Isaac Merrit
Singer, the widow of the inventor of
the sewing machine. Or that a
Chicago girl had posed for the
Statue's foot on one of Bartholdi's
visits to America.
Frederic Bartholdi, the French
sculptor of the Statue of Liberty,
wanted to erect a colossal statue at
the entrance to the Suez Canal. Like
the future Miss Liberty, it would
portray a robed woman holding aloft
a torch. Egypt turned down the
project in 1867.
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The Statue has been used by
political dissidents several times. As
the 1956 Hungarian Revolution was
being crushed by Soviet tanks, a
Hungarian refugee lowered a, banner
from the torch that read, "Stop the
Genocide. Save Hungary... Poles and
anti-Castro Cubans have tried to
demonstrate in the shadow of the
statue. Fifteen Vietnam veterans
"occupied" the statue for two days in
1971, demanding an immediate U.S.
withdrawal from Vietnam.
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New York Times art critic John
Russell has called Bartholdi's mother
a "noted domestic tyrant" and "one
of the all-time great killer mothers of
the 19th century. She was a byword
for bigotry." Bartholdi's brother
Charles, it is thought, went insane
partly because he was afraid to tell
his mother he was having an affair
with a Jewish woman.
At 151 feet and one inch, the
Statue is 18 times larger than
Bartholdi's models. Other vital
Index finger: 8 feet long, 3.5 feet in
Nose: 4.5 feet long.
Tablet: 23 feet, 7 inches long.
Mouth: 3 feet wide.
Weight: 225 tons.
ThicknesS of copper skin: 1/8 inch to
3/32 inch. No thicker than a U.S.
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