The tallest metal statue ever constructed, and, at the time it was completed, the tallest building in New York, the Statue of Liberty stands twenty-two stories high. It stands 151 feet high and weighs 225 tons. Its arms are 42 long and its torch is 21 feet in length. Its index fingers are eight feet long and it has a 4-foot 6-inch nose. For people all around the world, the statue symbolizes American freedom, hope, and opportunity. The statue was originally proposed by French historian Edouard de Laboulaye, a prominent French abolitionist, and designed by the French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. It was modeled, in part, on the Roman goddess Libertas, the personification of liberty and freedom in classical Rome, which led some critics to object to a heathen goddess standing in New York harbor. The final $100,000 for the statue's pedestal was raised by the Hungarian-born publisher Joseph Pulitzer, who asked New York's poor for contributions. In exchange, he printed their names in his newspaper. One wrote a letter to his paper, The World: “I am a young girl alone in the world, and earning my own living. Enclosed please find 60 cents, the result of self-denial. I wish I could make it 60 thousand dollars, instead of cents, but drops make the ocean.” Over time, the statue's symbolic meaning has been transformed. It was originally intended to express opposition to slavery. After the America's emergence as a world power after its defeat of Spain in the Spanish-American War of 1898, the statue became a symbol of American might. It was not until the twentieth century and massive immigration from eastern and southern Europe that the statue became "a lady of hope" for immigrants and refugees.

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