Have you ever wondered how many statues of Liberty there are? Here’s a list of 35 statues of Liberty you can visit in France. My favourite is #35, made by Salvadore Dali. Happy hunting.
Would it surprise you to learn that there are hundreds of statues of Liberty scattered across the globe?
I’ve been to a few museums in Paris that housed some lady liberties but never thought I would randomly stumble across one during a trip to meet a friend in Lunel, France. I was so intrigued by this accidental discovery that I started to do some research. It turns out there are over 35 statues of Liberty in France, which you can find throughout, but there could be more. Many will require you to drive in France to see them, but many are located in popular tourist destinations like in Paris.
Some statues are scaled-down reproductions created and signed by Bartholdi himself (the original creator). Others use an original Bartholdi mould, and some are fun or cheap copies with slight variations.
Why are there so many? And where are they?
That’s what we’ll be exploring today.
But before we dive into the locations of all 35 Statues of Liberty in France, you need to know a little history about this iconic monument and how she came to be in the first place.
FORGOTTEN HISTORY: Why did France give the U.S. the Statue of Liberty?
The Statue of Liberty in New York City was a gift from France to commemorate the alliance between the two countries during the American Revolution. It was also given to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the declaration of Independence
Liberty Enlightening the World (La Liberté éclairant le monde), better known as the Statue of Liberty (Statue de la Liberté)
Who created the Statue of Liberty?
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi
Born: August 2, 1834, Colmar, France
Died: October 4, 1904, Paris, France
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was a French sculptor from Colmar in Alsace known for creating large-scale sculptures. Bartholdi asked Alexandre-Gustave
What was the inspiration for the Statue of Liberty?
Auguste Bartholdi based the Statue of Liberty on the woman on the “The Great Seal of France (French: Grand sceau de la République française), the official seal of the French Republic.
The woman is wearing a crown with seven arches and is holding a fasces (axe in the middle of a bundle of rods), which has been a symbol of power since the end of the Roman Empire.
Some fun facts about the Statue of Liberty
- When was the Statue of Liberty built, and where? It was built in Paris, then disassembled into 350 pieces and shipped to the U.S. in 1885
- How long did it take? It took nine years to construct lady liberty 1875–1884
- Why are there seven points on the Statue’s crown? The seven points or arches represent the seven continents and the seven seas of the world.
- How tall is the Statue? She measures 305 feet and 1 inch tall (roughly 20 stories) and weighs 225 tons (450,000 pounds).
- Why does the Statue face South-East? It was strategically placed in this direction to act as a welcoming symbol for the ships entering the harbour.
- What date was it unveiled in the USA? October 28th, 1886, on Liberty Island, “New York, NY 10004, USA.”
You can take a virtual tour of the Statue of Liberty in New York.
Check out the new 100 million dollar Statue of Liberty Museum, which opened on May 16th, 2019. It’s located directly behind the Statue on Liberty Island.
Statue of Liberty map
I created this google map with the exact locations of the 35 replicas in France, which you can see here.
How many statues of liberty replicas are there in Paris?
There are six replicas of the Statue of Liberty in Paris. Do you know where they are?
The rest of the replicas I mention in this list are scattered throughout France.
1- Paris: Île aux Cygnes (Isle of the swans)
The most famous, the most visible and the largest replica of the Statue of Liberty in France.
Métro stop: Javel (line 10) or Bir Hakeim (line 6)
This Statue of Liberty was gifted to France by the Americans. The inscription on the tablet in her left-hand bears the inscription IV Juillet 1776 and XIV Juillet 1789, recognizing American Independence Day and the French Bastille Day.
Located in the 15th arrondissement of Paris near Pont de Grenelle on the river Seine is an uninhabited artificial island called Île aux Cygnes “Island of the Swans” or “Swan Island. This 850 metres long (half a mile),(11 metres wide), (36 ft.) island is popular with joggers, families and people just taking a stroll. It’s also the location of one of the most well-known and visible replicas of the Statue of Liberty. This replica measures 11.50 metres (37 ft. 9 in.) high and weighs 14 tons. She faces face west towards her “big sister” in New York:
You might be interested in learning about Bastille Day
2- Paris Jardin du Luxembourg
Métro: Saint-Placide (line 4). Access from rue Guynemer
An often overlooked replica of the Statue of Liberty is in Luxembourg Garden (Jardins de Luxembourg), located in the 6th arrondissement.
The park is one of the most visited parks in Paris. Queen Marie de Medici, the widow of King Henry IV of France, created the garden around 1612 as part of her new residence, the Luxembourg Palace. The large garden is populated with over a hundred statues, monuments, and fountains scattered throughout the grounds.
One of those statues is a lesser-known replica of the Statue of Liberty, which you can find near the Rue Guynemer entrance. The one currently in the gardens is a replacement approved by the French Senate to replace Bartholdi’s original Statue that stood here from 1906 to 2012 is currently on display at the musée d’Orsay.
3- Paris: Musee d’Orsay
1, rue de la Légion d’Honneur – Paris
Métro: Solférino (line 12) or RER C station Musée d’Orsay
The original Statue of Liberty: Supposedly, Bartholdi used this exact Statue as a model for the one gifted to the United States, so you could say this is the original Statue of Liberty?
Removed from Luxembourg gardens in 2012 and placed on display at the museum d’Orsay.
On the ground floor of the Musée d’Orsay is a 3-meter tall (1/16 scale) bronze Statue of Liberty commissioned by Bartholdi himself in 1889, which he exhibited in Paris at the Universal Exhibition of 1900.
Bartholdi sold the Statue to the Luxembourg museum for the cost of the casting after the exhibition of 1900. Unfortunately, there was no room in the museum to display, and Bartholdi died in 1904, never seeing his Statue on display at the museum.
In 1905, almost a year after Bartholdi’s death, his widow suggested they place the Statue in the Luxembourg gardens where it stood for nearly 115 years from 1906 to 2011 before being transferred to the Musée d’Orsay. Source, Musée d’Orsay website.
4- Paris: Musée des Arts et Métiers (interior)
Europe’s oldest science museum, founded in 1794, displays examples of inventions and industrial design.
Inside the main hall of the Musée des Arts et Métiers (Métiers Art Museum), you’ll find a 286 cm (2.86-metre) or 9ft 5in tall prototype (1/16 scale).
This particular Statue was bequeathed to the museum by Bartholdi’s widow. There is a second replica at the museum, but you have to head outside to see it. (explained below #5).
5- Paris: Musée des Arts et Métiers (exterior)
292, rue Saint-Martin – Paris
Métro: Arts et Métiers (line 3 or line 11)
Head to the square outside the museum entrance, and you’ll find a bronze copy of the Statue. One of 12 originals commissioned by the museum that uses an original mould created by Bartholdi.
6- Paris: Place Michel Debré
A quirky and tiny replica you have to look really hard to find.
1 Rue du Cherche-Midi
Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés (line 4) or Sèvres-Babylone (line 12)
In the 6th arrondissement at Place Michel Debré is a 5-metre tall bronze Centaur statue (the mythological half-man, half-horse). French artist Cesaris created the Centaur statue in 1985 for the French Ministry of Culture to pay homage to Picasso.
It’s done in the Nouveau réalisme (New realist) style, where artists take everyday items and incorporate them into their works of art. For example, Cesaris used a shovel and rake for the Centaur’s tail. And if you look closely at the Centaur’s chest, you’ll see a miniature replica of the Statue of Liberty.
Where to find replicas of the Statue of Liberty across France
Many of the Statues located outside of Paris are in unsuspecting spots, including a 12-metre statue in Colmar, which stands at the centre of a roundabout.
Then there’s the replica that used to be on the bow of a boat and another that was seized by Nazis in World War but replaced many years later.
In alphabetical order
This replica of the Statue is standing on a cement block in a strip mall parking lot in Albi, France. Not much information about it exists, so I have no idea why or who put it there. It’s most likely a cheap reproduction placed there for marketing reasons.
8- Barentin Statue of Liberty
This resin replica of the Statue of Liberty in Barentin, France, was originally made for the 1969 film The Brain ( Le Cerveau), a French comedy directed by Gérard Oury. She now stands on a small mound made of dirt and grass at the centre of a roundabout “Carrefour de la liberté.” She measures 3.5 m tall and weighs approximately 3.5 tons.
At the Castle of Blérancourt Franco-American Museum, there’s a tiny terracotta replica that dates back to 1885. That was the year before the official inauguration of the New York statue of Liberty. It was supposedly created by Bartholdi himself and has the following inscription on the pedestal.
“Souvenir à Mr le
comtede Saune qui a transporté en Amérique au nom de la France la Statue colossale de la Liberté. 1885″
Translation: “In remembrance to the Count of Saune who transported the colossal Statue of Liberty to America in the name of France. 1885”
Mr. Saune transported the colossal Statue to America on the ship Isère.
The original Statue of Liberty in Bordeaux at place Picard was melted by the Nazis for its precious metal and removed for its symbolism.
Its replacement, the one currently standing in the square, is made of resin and is dedicated to the victims of 9/11.
Erected in 1926, this Statue of Liberty is located across from an elementary school in Cambrin. It was placed there to dedicate the death of 26 children from the town who died during the War.
***a signed casting from Bartholdi
Near the city of Limoges, France, in Chateauneuf La Forêt is another replica cast by Bartholdi himself.
13- Chaumont Air Base of Chaumont-Semoutiers.
Located 3KM southwest of Chaumont is the Chaumont airbase (renamed Quartier Général d’Aboville), a French Army artillery base in France. Built in the 1930s, it’s home to the 48th fighter bomber wing, renamed the “Statue of Liberty Wing” on July 4th, 1954 and remains the only U.S. Air Force unit with both a name and a numerical designation.
After the name change, the wing’s comptroller discovered the factory that produced the actual Statue of Liberty was only 25 miles from Chaumont, and the original moulds still existed. The factory agreed to cast a three-meter replica of the Statue for $1,700—money raised by The wing by raffling off a 1956 French Ford Versailles sedan. You can read more about this forgotten airfield.
****The replica in Cléguérec, situated as the centrepiece of a fountain at Place Pobeguin, was inaugurated in September of 1882 but was cast in 1875, which predates the American Statue of Liberty in New York (1876 – 1886). It’s most likely an original cast from Bartholdi’s mould.
Colmar is the birthplace of Auguste Bartholdi.
The 12-metre high resin statue of Liberty was created to commemorate the 100th-anniversary of Auguste Bartholdi’s death.
Colmar is also home to the Bartholdi Museum. Go ahead and take a virtual 3D tour of the Musée Bartholdi and head up to room three on the second floor to see the terracotta replicas of the Statue of Liberty. There were supposedly 200 terracotta replicas stamped “Modèle du Comité” and signed by Auguste Bartholdi himself (apparently to partially help fund the building of the actual Statue of Liberty).
Standing in the main square opposite the town hall is a white replica of the Statue of Liberty. It was offered to the town In 1990 by Air France to thank the many emigrants who made the trip across the Atlantic.
Colmar is also the sister city of Princeton.
Gourin is a small town in the Morbihan department of Brittany in north-western France. Many French people emigrated to the United States and Canada from this town during the first part of the 20th century in search of a better life in America. The area lost over 3k residents in several waves. The most notable was when the Michelin factory (a French company) south of New York was recruiting people from Brittany.
17- Lugné: in Cessenon-sur-Orb
Lugné is a hamlet (a small settlement smaller than a village) where you’ll find a resin replica made by the Musée Bartholdi de Colmar (Bartholdi’s birthplace). What sets this replica apart is that it used to be on the bow of a plushy yacht called “Maxim’s des Mer.” Fashion designer Pierre Cardin designed the ship’s interior for Jean Miguel in the style of the famous Maxim’s restaurant, which Pierre Cardin owned. (Jean Miguel was a famous singer in France from Switzerland.
The story behind how the Statue ended up on the bow of a boat is interesting.
In the late 80’s “Maxim’s des Mer” was a 180-foot luxury commercial yacht with 16 luxury suites prominent on the Cote d’Azur. It slept 32 people who were willing to pay $4,200 to $5,900 per person in one of the 16 double-occupancy rooms for a one-week cruise in the lap of Art Nouveau luxury.
It had a piano bar, casino, boutique, massage room, hair salon, outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, stained-glass windows and famous French chefs to prepare meals served to guests in a huge dining room on red velvet chairs. (source)
In 1986, for the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, an original plaster mould of one of the Statue of Liberty ears on loan from the Bartholdi Museum in Colmar was brought over on the Yacht. For the voyage, the museum made a copy of the Statue of Liberty for the bow of the boat.
While in the New York Harbor, she became an exclusive affair for celebrity bashes during the party of the century, Liberty Weekend, a four-day party thrown in honour of Miss Liberty and the centennial 4th of July festivities. The boat attracted celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Esther Williams, Kirk Douglas, KennyRogers and Lorne Green. Rockers Z.Z. Top played for close to 400 stars and fans on board. (source). Robin Leach even filmed an episode for his iconic television series Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous on the boat.
After the event, the Statue was removed, but no one wanted to purchase it, so the captain, Albert Abélanet from Lugné, decided to save her. He purchased her and picked her up from storage somewhere in France with his vehicle. Source. Unfortunately, the boat Maxim des Mer is dead in the water somewhere in Italy.
You can visit the statue on rue de la statue in Lugné France, the home town of Albert Abélanet. Remember, she’s been around top celebrities.
18- Lunel: Statue of Liberty
Not far from where I live in Montpelier is a town called Lunel. I accidentally stumbled upon this replica of Lady liberty when I drove there to meet a friend for lunch. I was stunned to see it standing in the middle of the intersection off the D424E, which runs through the town.
This statue is the reason I decided to write this post. I wanted to know where others were located in France.
The Statue was initially erected in 1889 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French revolution. Unfortunately, the Nazi Germans melted her down for her precious metals like so many other bronze statues.
The town erected a replacement statue for the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, thanks to the many donors whose names are in a chest in the pedestal’s base where she stands. She measured 2,8 meters tall and weighs 500 kg
In Lyon, at the Musée des beaux-arts, there is a miniature terracotta version of the Statue of Liberty.
In the eastern part of France, in Montagnat, there’s another replica of the Statue of Liberty, which you can see driving along route national 75. Not much information is available. It’s probably a cheap imitation made for another hotel chain.
If you drive along the D32 road of Gruissan in Narbonne, you’ll see a small gravel driveway with a wood sign that reads “Materiaux anciens,” where you can sell and buy used building materials like sculptures and fountains. Right next to the sign is yet another replica of the Statue of Liberty.
The Statue used to be at the entrance of the hotel Liberté (now a port hotel) and was probably sold off as part of a liquidation sale.
The 1.35 M, 80 kg replica of the Liberty statue in Nice, France, is located on the Quai des Etats Unis where she stands tall as she watches over the sea. Purchased in 2011 by the municipality for 110 630 euros, she was installed in February of 2014.
In the centre of a roundabout in Ourville-en-Caux, stands a 6m blue replica of the Statue of Liberty. According to the city’s official website, someone purchased the replica secondhand from the Noctuel hotel chain and installed it on their property. It was then auctioned off twice until it was purchased from a few companies in Ourville, who later donated it to the town. And voila!
In the small village of Plaintel in Normandy, France, is one of the kookiest replicas of the Statue of Liberty I’ve ever seen. It was carved with a chainsaw from a tree trunk by Normand Gérard Farhuel at the 10th annual lumberjack competition held on July 6th, 1996. The organizer of the event donated the wood replica to the town so that everyone could enjoy it. It now sits at the centre of one of the roundabouts in the town, but I was unable to locate its exact location. (Source).
26- Ploreren: Statue of Liberty Replica
This white replica of the Statue of Liberty in the city of Ploeren sits at the end of the driveway of a land yacht company called “Seagull chars à voile.” It measures 7 metres tall and can be seen by commuters along the N165 (Nantes-Brest expressway), many of whom stop to take selfies in front of lady liberty.
The story behind this white Statue of Liberty is a little strange.
In 1989, Jean-Philippe Krischer, le director of “Seagull chars à voile” saw the Statue at a nautical sports trade show in Paris at the Nacra booth (an American importer of Dinghies). The owner had bought Statue from the liberty hotel chain for 30k franks.
Jean-Philippe eventually purchased the Statue from Nacra for an undisclosed sum and placed it at the end of his business’s driveway. (source)
27- Poitiers: Statue of Liberty
This replica of the Statue of Liberty is located in Poitou, France, at “Place de la Liberté.” It was donated to the city in 1903 by a Freemason Lodge (loges maconniques de Poitiers et de Neuville). Did you know some people believe Francois Mitterand, ex-president of France who commissioned the pyramid at the Louvre, was a 33 Degree Freemason Of The Grand Orient Lodge?
28- Roybon: Statue of Liberty
****An original created and signed by Bartholdi
In 1906, Auguste Bartholdi himself gave his friend Mathias Saint-Romme an exact signed replica of the Statue of Liberty, dedicated to Mathias’s father, Henri-François Saint-Romme (one of many distinguished persons of the Second Republic in the department of Isère).
29- Saint Affrique
The original Statue of Liberty erected in 1889 for the centennial anniversary of the French revolution was removed and melted by the Vichy regime for the Nazis. Multiple efforts failed to replace the Statue until 2006 when André Debru, a local metal artist, created his unique wrought iron version of the Statue of Liberty.
30- St Cyr-sur-Mer
****Signed by Bartholdi and inaugurated in 1913.
In the heart of the village Saint-Cyr sur–Mer at Place Portalis is a golden replica of the Statue of Liberty and one of a handful of original models signed by Bartholdi himself. A wealthy landowner (Anatole Ducros) offered the Statue to the town to commemorate the first public water supply. The exciting thing about this reproduction is it’s covered in a fine layer of gold.
31- Saint-Étienne: Statue of Liberty
In Saint-Étienne, France, at Place Jules Ferry (corner of Rue Chefeul and Rue du Onze Novembre), near the university Jean-Monnet, there’s a replica of the Statue of Liberty often surrounded by skateboarders. * it’s a great place to skate. Commissioned by the mayor, Jean Neyret and cast by Val d’Osne art foundry in 1915, the largest art cast iron maker in France at the time.
The replica of the Statue of Liberty in Saint-Martin-de-Nigelles is on private property. It is visible from the road at the intersection of Chemin aux Boeufs and Chemin du bois d’Olivier. Sometimes you can see a polish and American
In Soulac-sur-Mer, the bronze replica of the Statue of Liberty that stands along the Atlantic ocean is staring out towards Ellis Island. The city purchased the bronze replica back in 1980 from Arthus-Bertrand, a famous maker of medals and decoration who worked with Bartholdi occasionally. The exact origins of why the Statue was in his possession are unknown. One theory is that it is one of the statues the Nazis tried to melt but somehow was salvaged and ended up in the hands of Arthus-Bertrand.
In front of the Europe Hôtel is another blue replica of the Statue of Liberty. It’s clearly made for marketing purposes.
Salvatore Dali designed the replica of the Statue of Liberty at the Vascoeuil Castle in Vascoeuil, France. Supposedly, Salvatore was enamoured by the work of Bartholdi. His version has lady liberty holding two torches with both arms raised like she’s cheering at a sports game or maybe V for victory.