Statue of Liberty model is unveiled in Washington

One-sixteenth the size of the original statue, the iconic statue reflects the bond between the two allies, Le Drian said at the official unveiling ceremony.

Blinken said the countries are united not because of what they have achieved, but because of their allegiance and dedication to freedom, democracy and self-improvement.

"That's the journey of America. That's the journey of France. That's the journey of all free democracies, not the perfect embodiment of principled self-government, but the perpetual effort to fix our flaws and, as we like to say in the United States, to form a more perfect union," he said.

At just under 3 meters in height, the scaled-down replica traveled first to New York City, where it stood next to the original Statue of Liberty, before moving to the U.S. capital.

The work is being loaned by the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Paris to the United States for 10 years, in a gesture aimed at cementing Franco-American friendship.

The larger version of the Statue of Liberty, who stands at 305 feet tall (93 meters) including the base, was given by France to the United States as a gift. It was assembled in 1886 and has been on Liberty Island in New York Harbor ever since.

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