US capital gets its own, petite Statue of Liberty

·1-min read

Some 135 years after the arrival of its big sister in New York, a relatively diminutive replica Statue of Liberty was unveiled Wednesday in the US capital as a token of American-French friendship.

The replica, standing at around 10 feet (three meters) tall -- compared to the famed 300-foot-tall New York version -- was inaugurated by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his US counterpart, Antony Blinken.

The bronze statue was erected in the garden of the residence of France's ambassador in Washington.

On its journey from Paris, it travelled via Liberty Island, south of Manhattan, home of the iconic "Liberty Enlightening the World" statue presented by France to the United States in the late 19th century.

"The little sister has arrived," said Philippe Etienne, France's envoy in Washington.

"She spent a week in New York for the American national holiday -- Independence Day -- she was on Ellis Island, she looked at her big sister. And now she is in place for July 14," he added, referring to the French Bastille Day holiday.

On loan from France's National Conservatory of Arts and Trades (Cnam) and cast from the same mold used by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the statue travelled in a specially designed Plexiglas case in a container transported by French shipping company CMA-CGM.

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