The Statue of Liberty in Paris – the original Liberty Enlightening the World
Why is there a Statue of Liberty in Paris?
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Pack your bags and head to New York to see Liberty, Enlightening the World. Or you can stay in Paris and see eight. Liberty’s birthplace has several representations of the iconic lady. It’s a snippet of knowledge that can win a quiz or form the basis of an oddly captivating adventure around Paris.
The catch is that none are made to the scale found on Liberty Island. And Paris is not exceptional. Hundreds of replicas exist around the world. But among Paris’s hoard are several with an authentic connection to the famous statue, including the original scale model. Whether you’re looking to enrich your Parisian odyssey with sights that could easily be missed or creating a Franco-American tour that sweeps through many diverting attractions, this guide is for you.
What is the Statue of Liberty in Paris
It makes sense that Paris is home to versions of the Statue of Liberty. The statue was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built in a Parisian suburb. Gustave Eiffel helped complete the framework shortly before he created Paris’s most iconic landmark.
A gift from France to the USA dedicated in 1886, it’s surprising there aren’t more relics from the immense Parisian project. More surprising is that among the versions found in Paris, some were created after the Statue of Liberty was installed. And each display in Paris tells a different story.
Here’s a summary of where you can see Lady Liberty in the French capital.
- Bartholdi’s original sculpture – Musée d’Orsay: First conceived as sculpture long before permission was granted to scale up, the original sculpture that inspired the dream was displayed in the Luxembourg Gardens. It now resides in the magnificent Orsay museum.
- Bartholdi’s original sculpture – Luxembourg Gardens: Hidden among the many striking statues in Le Jardin du Luxembourg is a brass replica that replaced the original that stood there for over a century.
- The finest replica – Île aux Cygnes – A gift from the American people, this 11.5-meter structure stands on an island in the Seine, a fitting tribute to the centuries of intercontinental friendship.
- An authentic working model – Musée des Arts et Métiers: Within the absorbing arts and crafts museum in Paris is a plaster model recovered from the original workshop. There’s also a fascinating interactive guide to making the statue. And with a small model of people working on the statue and a replica outside the museum, that’s technically three versions in one place.
- A life-sized section and poignant memorial – Pont de l’Alma: Here you can see a 1:1 replica of the Flame of Liberty at the entrance to the tunnel where Princess Diana died. It is an unofficial memorial today.
In reality, this list could go on. There are replicas found in office lobbies and other unexpected locations. This collection has the backstory to go with the image and is probably the only one visitors want to see.
Tickets and entrance to the Statue of Liberty in Paris
You can see Liberty statues in public spaces and a couple pay-to-enter museums.
Spots to visit the Statue of Liberty in Paris
Musée d'OrsayMuseum in Quartier Saint-Thomas-d'AquinAdd to myTravel added
First conceived as sculpture long before permission was granted to scale up, the original sculpture that inspired the dream was displayed in the Luxembourg Gardens. It now resides in the magnificent Orsay museum.
Jardin du Luxembourg ENPark in Quartier de l'OdéonOur highlightAdd to myTravel added
The Jardin du Luxembourg is grouped around the stately Palais du Luxembourg – once a royal palace, today the seat of the French Senate.
In this stunningly beautiful garden you can discover the Statue of Liberty in a green setting and chill out a bit before you visit the Musée de Luxembourg with a large collection of amazing contemporary art.
Musée des Arts et MétiersMuseum in 3. ArrondissementAdd to myTravel added
The Musée des Arts et Métiers is located in Paris, alongside the Canal Saint-Martin. Housed in a former priory, the Museum of Arts and Crafts is an unusual place, displaying a vast collection of scientific instruments, inventions, and drawings.
Among the exhibits are the original Foucault’s Pendulum and the first rendering of the Statue of Liberty. A compelling diversion, just a 15-minute walk from the Quai de Valmy.
Tours of the Statue of Liberty in Paris
I don’t think there is any better way to explore Paris than with a tour led by a local guide. You will get the best secret tips for your vacation in Paris and get to know the culture of the French people better.
Oldtimer Tour throughout Paris
What you get?
What you get?
Entrance to the museum and exclusive guided tour.
Tour through the Latin Quatier and the Luxembourg gardens with an expert guide.
Oltimer tour with an 2CV Citroën throughout the streets of Paris
2 ½ hours
Tours of the Statue of Liberty: The details
Musée d’Orsay - Exclusive Guided Tour (Reserved Entry Included!)Walking Tour in 7. ArrondissementAdd to myTravel added
Discover more than just the original Statue of Liberty with an exclusive tour of the stunning d’Orsay Museum in 6 languages.
During your tour of the Musee d’Orsay, you’ll not only see the original Statue of Liberty, but also numerous works of art by artists such as Monet and Van Gogh. The guide will accompany you for 2 to 2.5 hours through the history and beauty of arts.
Paris: Latin Quarter 2-Hour Private or Group Walking TourWalking Tour in Quartier LatinAdd to myTravel added
Ensure you don’t miss the Statue of Liberty in the Luxembourg Gardens with an expert guide. The tour passes through the charismatic Latin Quarter, with its many diverting sights.
The best way to explore the Latin Quarter is with a knowledgeable local guide: during your tour with the local guide, you will explore the magical corners and find some of the top sightseeing spots of Paris.
Oldtimer Tour throughout ParisWalking Tour in ParisAdd to myTravel added
There is no better way to enjoy the Parisian vibe than driving in an oldtimer throughout the City of Love.Enjoy the fun ride with friends and listen to some french oldies while you watch the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Tromphe and Champs-Élysées pass by.
Reach Pont de l’Alma or Pont de Grenelle with a touch of je ne sais quoi in a 2CV. Tailor the itinerary to fit your adventure.
Highlights of the Statue of Liberty in Paris
Each Statue of Liberty dotted around Paris tells a unique story:
The two Bartholdi statues, the original, and the replica, capture the imagination and trace Liberty’s backstory to when she was just an idea. Small yet nonetheless striking, both sculptures are stars in their respective locations. The model in the Arts and Métiers museum is another authentic piece of history. You can learn more about the story behind the making and visualize the enormity of the project. The other exhibitions are a joy too. Filled with mechanical wonders and original inventions, it’s a place for kids, big and small.
At Pont de l’Alma, you’ll see just the flame of Liberty. But it’s a full-size replica. More movingly, you’ll also see tributes to Princess Diana, whose car crashed at the bridge. To see the Statue of Liberty in Paris on the small artificial island Île aux Cygnes, you’ll want to stop on the nearby Pont de Grenelle for the best view. It’s a small yet picture-perfect replica. Stop, take the photo, and move on.
Tips for visiting the Statue of Liberty in Paris
Spread apart and not always offering much to see, you might not want to hunt all the Lady Liberties. But a few tips might help the search.
- If you’re in a rush, you’ll find Bartholdi’s sculpture on the west side of the Luxembourg Gardens
- The Paris Museum Pass is another money saver – the original statue in Orsay and the model in Arts and Métier are both covered.
Visit the museen for free
Save money seeing the original in Orsay Museum and visit on the first Sunday of the month, when the Orsay and other Paris museums are free.
Is the Statue of Liberty in Paris, worth visiting?
They might not all be worth a special journey. Yet, several Statues of Liberty in Paris can be found in leading landmarks and woven into a captivating Parisian escapade. With all reachable by Paris Métro, you might even want to complete the set.
Historic facts about the Statue of Liberty in Paris
The Statue of Liberty was the dream of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. He had to sell the idea to build a monument to American liberty on what was then Bedloe’s Island in New York. It was the sculpture he presented to the French leaders. The same statue that stood in Luxembourg Gardens for more than 100 years and now displayed in the Orsay Museum.
Eventually, the design won enough support, and funding was provided. With the assistance of Gustave Eiffel and the firm Gaget, Gauthier et Cie, the Statue of Liberty slowly rose from a factory in the 17th arrondissement. Souvenirs of this monumental project found their way into the Arts and Métiers collection, alongside other notable creations, like the original Foucault’s Pendulum.
Installed on the newly-named Liberty Island and dedicated in 1886, the inscription read, “the Alliance of the two Nations in achieving the Independence of the United States of America and attests to their abiding friendship”. The USA returned the sentiment three years later, with the smaller scale replica placed on the artificial island, Île aux Cygnes. Donated by Americans living in Paris, the Statue of Liberty in Paris faces her sister in New York. A symbol of enduring friendship.
The Flame of Liberty at Pont de l’Alma is the newest addition to Paris’s collection. A life-sized replica of the flame lighting up Liberty Island, it was created by the International Herald Tribune to celebrate its 100th anniversary. It was donated to the City of Paris in 1989. It became an unofficial memorial to Princess Diana following her death in 1997.
What to do after visiting the Statue of Liberty in Paris
Several of the most visited Statues of Liberty in Paris are in the heart of vibrant neighborhoods and close to many leading attractions.
- Near the Luxembourg Gardens, head out to the ever-exciting Latin Quarter or Saint-Germain-des-Prés quartiers. Nearby are lading landmarks like the Panthéon and Saint-Sulpice.
- The Orsay Museum on the banks of the Seine is near the magnetic Louvre and the fascinating Les Invalides.
- Île aux Cygnes and Pont de Grenelle in the 15th arrondissement is a leisurely stroll along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower.
- While the Arts and Métiers museum is in the animated Le Marais neighborhood, close to the Pompidou Center, Picasso Museum, and other delights of the area.
How many versions of the Statue of Liberty are in Paris?
We have identified 5 to look out for. Rumors say there are 8 in Paris. Chances are, there are more hidden away.
Which Statue of Liberty in Paris should I see?
The Bartholdi original sculptures carry the weight of history. And you can see this one in two places. See the actual sculpture in the Orsay Museum. Or view a bronze cast of the original in the Luxembourg Gardens, where the initial sculpture once stood.
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