French Language Blog

Liberté, égalité, fraternité Posted by on Jun 18, 2021 in Culture


Safe to say everyone knows about the emblématique (iconic) Statue of Liberty that France gifted us in 1886, having been built by the same man who built the Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel. It was meant to commemorate the alliance and amitié (friendship) between France and the US, especially after the American Revolution.

The story behind the gifting of this statue known formally as La Liberté éclairant le monde (Liberty Enlightening the World) reminds me of this iconic Révolution française quote and now French national motto:

Liberté, égalité, fraternité – Liberty, equality, fraternity

But did you know there are actually numerous Statue of Liberty replicas in Paris?

  1. Île aux Cygnes

On the man-made island called Île aux Cygnes stands a 37 foot replica of the Statue of Liberty gifted to France from the American ex-patriate community in Paris. The replica is facing west towards its larger version in New York City. On it two dates are written, 4 July 1776 and 14 July 1789, the dates of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in the US and the storming of the Bastille in France. Liberté, égalité, fraternité, effectivement! (Liberty, equality, fraternity, indeed!)

Photo from Pixabay, CCO.

2. Jardin de Luxembourg 

In the Jardin de Luxembourg located in the 6th arrondissement you will find another Lady Liberty replica. This is a newly constructed bronze replica that replaces the one that is now at the Musée D’Orsay which stood watch over the garden for over a century.

Photo from Pixababy, CCO.

3. Musée D’Orsay

In 1900 Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the original designer of the Statue of Liberty, crafted a smaller version for the world fair in Paris held that year. He subsequently gifted it to the Musée du Luxembourg. In 2014 it was moved to the Musée D’Orsay. 

4. Musée des Arts et Métiers

There are actually two located in the Musée des Arts et Métiers.  The 9.4 ft tall original plaster maquette finished in 1878, as well as a more recent bronze replica made from the original plaster.

This second replica has actually just begun its journey to the US as a second cadeau from France to the US to once again symbolically strengthen and defend our friendship! It will be displayed in NYC next to its sister statue for the 4th of July, and then will be brought to the French ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C.

5. La dame de fer”

La dame de fer“, or the Iron Lady, is the local nickname for the Eiffel tower. Near it, floating on the Seine, you will find yet again another replica of our dame en cuivre (Copper Lady).


Next time you are in Paris, you will have to go on a jeu de piste (scavenger hunt) to find all of these replicas! Bonne chance!

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About the Author: Bridgette

Just your average Irish-American Italo-Francophone. Client Engagement for Transparent Language.