A new Statue of Liberty museum opened last week in New York Harbor, but you don’t have to take a ferry to see Lady Liberty. Even before its dedication in 1886, replicas of the statue, officially called “Liberty Enlightening the World,” began to appear. Many tell important stories, says French scholar Robert Belot, an authority on the statue’s sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi and author of the new book "The Statue of Liberty: The Monumental Dream" (Rizzoli, $50). “All these replicas are very important. It is more than a statue. It’s more than a symbol of the United States.”
In honor of the museum’s opening (libertyellisfoundation.org), he shares some favorites with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.
Standing near the Eiffel Tower, this official replica was created before the original monument was unveiled in New York.
“The statue is looking to the west, in the direction of the United States,” Belot says. The artwork sits on Île aux Cygnes in the Seine, near Pont de Grenelle. “It’s very beautiful. It’s part of the landscape.” en.parisinfo.com
Ethnography Museum, Lviv, Ukraine
Apparently even Lady Liberty needs to take a load off. Known as the “lazy statue,” this is a rare example of a seated Statue of Liberty. She can be found on the museum’s exterior, relaxing on top of its dome. Created by a Polish sculptor in 1910, it’s unclear what message he was trying to send.
“There are so many mysteries to these replicas,” Belot says. lviv.travel
Since its debut, the statue has taken on different meanings. This replica in a courthouse square in northeastern Arkansas was one of the first to use the monument to honor fallen soldiers. Inaugurated on Veterans Day in 1924, it remembers local servicemen who died during World War I.
“It is very important. It says we were fighting not against Germans, but for liberty,” Belot says. arkansas.com
Over the years, the statue has inspired many artists, including surrealist Salvador Dalí, who designed his own statue with both arms holding torches, instead of one cradling a tablet of law. Belot believes Dalí was reinterpreting the Statue of Liberty’s original meaning.
“I think he destroyed the tablet because artists don’t want to be limited by laws,” he says.
The statue is a copy of one Dalí made earlier. en.costabrava.org
667 Madison Avenue, New York
This bronze reproduction was made in 2011 from the statue’s original plaster model in Paris. At one-sixteenth the original size, it’s found in front of a Manhattan office building.
“It’s incredible. It’s the last official replica. For me, it’s very important,” Belot says. 667madison.com
Window of the World, Shenzhen, China
As China began to embrace capitalism in the 1990s, it opened this theme park featuring models of world monuments.
“It was a turning point,” Belot says, noting that just a few years earlier the Chinese government had destroyed a figure resembling the Statue of Liberty during protests in Tiananmen Square. “It’s very important that it’s in China, even if it’s in an amusement park.” en.szwwco.com
Legoland, Billund, Denmark
You don’t need copper to create a Statue of Liberty. This example, constructed in 1968 from plastic Lego bricks, is just as evocative, Belot says.
“It’s a symbol now familiar to everyone in the world. I think Bartholdi would be very, very happy to see it.” legoland.dk
Vila Kennedy, Rio de Janeiro
This South American monument commemorates an 1889 coup that led to Brazilian independence. Belot says Bartholdi was sympathetic to the fight against slavery in Brazil, but when the author researched local archives, there was little information about the artist’s connection to the official bronze replica displayed in a Rio neighborhood. visit.rio
Legend says that the copper used to create the statue in New York Harbor came from a mine near this village in Norway, and in 1986 the community unveiled a waterfront replica to honor the connection. Although a fire destroyed mine records, Belot thinks the story’s probably true.
“Even if it is a myth, the statue is real.” visitnorway.com
Facing the Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo’s Odaiba neighborhood, this one-seventh replica is a tribute not to America, but to Japan’s friendship with France. Originally installed as a temporary display, it was so popular it became a permanent attraction. It’s one of several Statues of Liberty found in Japan. gotokyo.org
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 10 surprising places to find the Statue of Liberty