It was recently announced that as of July 4, 2009, tourists (and non-tourists, I suppose) will once again be able to perch in the Statue of Liberty's crown to gaze out across the land. It's been closed since 9/11, so this will mark the first time in nearly eight years that the public has been allowed such access. But just because you haven't been able to see the original statue up close and personal doesn't mean it has to elude you altogether "“ there are replicas of the Bartholdi piece peppered liberally across the world. Here are 10 you can check out if you won't be making it to New York anytime soon.
1. Billund, Denmark, the home of the original Legoland theme park, boasts a Lego replica of the old gal. She's still pretty large, as you can tell by the people in the picture. (Click for a close-up; the Statue is in the bottom row.)
2. Las Vegas, of course. Because you can find just about anything in Vegas. It's reportedly 1:3 scale and presides over fake skyscrapers and a roller coaster themed to look like taxi cabs. If you're on the Strip, you really can't miss her.
3. Paragould, Arkansas, claims it is home to the oldest Statue Of Liberty in America other than the original. Measuring in at a mere seven feet tall, it's shorter than the real statue's index finger (eight feet tall). But it means a lot to the residents of Paragould, who refer to it as the Paragould War Memorial honoring WWI vets.
4. There are three replicas of Lady Liberty in Paris, but the one that is probably best known is the one that holds court in the middle of the Seine. She's about 22 meters tall (a little more than 72 feet) and has been there almost as long as her taller counterpart on Liberty Island "“ the statue was inaugurated in 1889, three years after the New York Liberty.
5. Visnes in Rogaland, Norway, may seem like a pretty random place for a Statue of Liberty replica, but truth be told, there would be no Statue of Liberty without Visnes: it was the place where the copper used to construct her was mined. The mine has been closed since 1972, but the statue is there as a reminder of the town's contribution to a great work of art and international symbol.
6. If you're visiting Webster, Massachusetts, head down to Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg and check out the statue there. She's just a little thing, but she's pretty, and the lake she watches over has a fun name to say. OK, I can't actually pronounce it, but it looks like fun.
7. There's a 115-foot replica of Miss Liberty at the Heide-Park in Soltau, Lower Saxony, Germany. It's one of the biggest theme parks in Germany, so it makes sense that it has one of the biggest Statue of Liberty replicas. It's half the size of the real thing and took a year and a half for artist Gerla Spee to construct. The Heide-Park website says "everything in America is just that little bit bigger than anywhere else. And higher and wider and faster," so to celebrate that spirit and the similar spirit of their theme park, they constructed one of the most well-known symbols of America.
8. "Strengthen the Arm of Liberty" was a campaign undertaken by the Boy Scouts of America in 1950. They purchased about 200 small replicas of the statue and then donated them to various cities across the U.S., covering 39 states. Where the cities erected the statues was left to their discretion, so you'll find them in a variety of displays across the country. Although a bunch of them have been destroyed or lost, at least 100 still stand and have been logged by the Boy Scouts of Cheyenne, Wyoming. You can find them here "“ it's pretty cool to look through and see how the statues were used differently. I was pleasantly surprised to notice that the statue that inspired this Q10 "“ the one at the Des Moines capitol "“ was the product of this campaign.
9. Can you imagine being an unsuspecting bystander at the University of Wisconsin- Madison during the winter of 1979? I'm pretty sure seeing the Statue of Liberty sticking up from the iced-over Lake Mendota, Planet-of-the-Apes-style, would probably stop you dead in your tracks. It started as a joke: two students promised that if they were elected to student government, they would get the Statue of Liberty relocated to campus. And they held true to their word, but sadly, the helicopters bringing her in floundered just as they entered campus and dropped our dear Liberty into the lake. Whoops. The poor thing was set ablaze just a few days later, but she returned in a fireproof format the next year. She was relegated to a storage silo for the next 19 years or so, but just this winter the students dragged her out to the frozen lake again just for kicks. You can see the process here.
10. OK, so you can't actually visit this one, but it's pretty cool nonetheless. In 1918, 18,000 soldiers gathered at Camp Dodge in Des Moines to recreate the statue using people as a promotion to sell war bonds. It was a terribly hot day "“ temperatures reached at least 105 degrees Fahrenheit "“ and the soldiers were wearing wool uniforms. Several men fainted. Sadly, the photo was never actually used to promote war bonds, but it's still a neat picture. The whole thing is about a quarter of a mile long and 12,000 people were needed for the flame of the torch alone.
Do you have a little Statue of Liberty in your town, or have you seen one in an odd spot? (The people who dress up to promote Liberty Tax don't count.) Share with us in the comments!