Did you know that we Brazilians have an official Statue of Liberty?
When we think of a monument that represents Brazil, immediately comes to our mind the Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, elected one of the new seven wonders of the world in 2007. And when we think of a New York City landmark? Undoubtedly, what figures is the Statue of Liberty, built on Liberty Island.
But did you know that we Brazilians also have a Statue of Liberty? Of course not the same size as the original, but still original, since it was made by the same sculptor who created the famous American monument. All produced in bronze, it is today in the historic neighborhood of Jaraguá, Maceió, Alagoas.
One of three
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, author of the statue that is today a postcard of New York, created only three identical copies of his monument, all made of the same materials. One of them, measuring about 46 meters and weighing about 24, 635 tons, is the main one, which is today in the American city.
Of the other two also signed by Bartholdi, one was sent to the city of Paris, France. The other was first sent to Copacabana Fort in Rio de Janeiro. However, due to the great friendship of the French sculptor with the Alagoas painter Rosalvo Ribeiro, the statue was transferred to Maceió.
Today there are replicas scattered all over the world, but only these three were made by Bartholdi. A copy of the Statue of Liberty is in Rio de Janeiro, but it is a tribute to the French sculptor. It was not produced in bronze either (like the official monuments), but in nickel alloy.
The history of the Brazilian Statue of Liberty
As stated, the original prototype was sent between the 19th and 20th centuries to the 18th Square, which is located at Copacabana Fort in Rio de Janeiro. It is not known whether as a gift to the Alagoas painter Rosalvo Ribeiro or as an exchange of art between the artists, she was transferred to the city of Maceió, Alagoas, where she made a true pilgrimage.
First, she went to Praça Dois Leões and, in 1918, was moved to a pedestal in the place that today houses the Museum of Image and Sound of Alagoas - MISA. In the year 1939, she was again moved now to Centennial Square, in the Farol neighborhood. In 1956, the place was occupied by a statue of General Góes Monteiro, and she was taken again.
This time, to a small square newly built between the neighborhoods of Jaraguá and Pajuçara. Then, in the 1990s, the Brazilian Statue of Liberty returned to its place of origin, on a pedestal near MISA, where it is today and can be visited by anyone interested in the history of the monument and the city.
However, the Brazilian authorities do not seem to pay much attention to the Statue of Liberty sent by Frédéric Bartholdi to our country, as it is now abandoned. According to journalist Maikel Marques, she is currently rusty on her pedestal and is ignored by Alagoans and tourists passing through the square.
The monument is long forgotten and mistreated in a place inhabited by many drug users, such as crack, marijuana and cocaine, which is why people give up visiting the site and knowing the statue and its history. This is really a shame as all the historical symbols of the country give people a great deal of knowledge.
Curiosities about the Statue of Liberty
Did you know that...
... the Statue of Liberty - in English: The Statue of Liberty and in French: Statue of la Liberté - has as its official name “Freedom Enlightening the World” - English: Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté Éclairant le Monde?
... was she a gesture of friendship from France to the United States?
... to develop it, Bartholdi had the help of the french Gustave Eiffel, same engineer of the Eiffel Tower, landmark of Paris?
... the Statue of Liberty was based on the Colossus of Rhodes monument, statue of Helium (sun god in Greek mythology), one of the seven wonders of the ancient world?
... was it the French people who raised the funds needed so that Frederic Bartholdi could start working on the colossal-sized statue?
... was this a suggestion from reader Ivine Honorato? Thank you, Ivine. And keep following us! If you have any suggestions, send it to us!