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New York’s Statue of Liberty is Just One of Many Worldwide

The Statue of Liberty at Legoland in Denmark. (Photo: Loozrboy/flickr)

George Washington once wrote that “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” That certainly rings true for Lady Liberty, who now appears on everything from coffee mugs to toilets—and in the form of hundreds of statues around the world.

New York’s Statue of Liberty, officially titled Liberty Enlightening the World, was dedicated in 1886. Designed by Frederic Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel, its construction process suffered from multiple delays caused by lack of funding. But following 10 years of aggressive fund-raising and petitioning of the French and American public, Lady Liberty rose triumphantly into existence and became an instant symbol of freedom and revolution.

Since Liberty was installed in New York Harbor, copycat statues have popped up everywhere from Tokyo to Norway to Brazil. Here are 10 of the most notable.

1. Odaiba Statue of Liberty

Tokyo, Japan

Odaiba Statue of Liberty

(Photo: EO Kenny on Flickr)

The Odaiba Statue of Liberty is easily the nicest of all the copycats. The 39-foot-tall statue was erected in 1998 as part of a one-year tribute to Japan’s connection with France, but has remained to this day due to its popularity. Its nearby footbridges allow for great closeup shots, and stunning views over Tokyo Bay. With the large suspension bridge extending behind the statue, it’s easy to pretend you’re really in New York. 

2. Bordeaux Statue of Liberty

Bordeaux, France

(Photo: Julienbzh35/WikiCommons CC BY 1.0)

In 1888 Bartholdi was commissioned to build a giant fountain in Place Picard in Bordeaux, and topped it off with his already-famous Lady Liberty. During the Bordeaux statue’s (and its replacements’) lives, it has been melted down by Nazis, spray painted, lit on fire and been made the subject of an artistic protest. 

3. Visnes Statue of Liberty

Visnes, Norway

(Photo: Sjoehest/WikiCommons CC BY-SA 3.0)

The small village of Visnes, Norway, has a big claim to fame—its copper mine, which was active for over 100 years, allegedly supplied the copper used to build the Statue of Liberty located in New York. This much smaller replica proudly commemorates the copper mine and its contributions to one of the most famous monuments in the world, even though this claim hasn’t been fully verified. 

4. Lviv Statue of Liberty

Lviv, Ukraine

(Photo: Aeou/WikiCommons CC BY 3.0)

Atop the State Museum of Ethnography of Ukraine is a unique, sitting version of the Statue of Liberty, who’s sometimes referred to as the “lazy statue.” She was designed by Polish sculptor Leandro Marconi, and is flanked by two hunky shirtless men. Breaking free from the shackles of oppression is hard work, so can you blame Lady Liberty for wanting to sit down for once?  

5. Salvador Dali’s Statue of Liberty

Vacoeuil, France

(Photo: isamiga76/flickr)

You would expect Salvador Dali, the surrealist artist known for his paintings of melted clocks, to do things a bit differently than others. Unsurprisingly, he put his own twist on the Statue of Liberty when he created The Victory of Liberty in 1972. The design is quite true to the original statue, but with both arms raised. It sits outside at the Chateau de Vascoeuil arts center, among sculptures by other well-known artists.

6. Original Statue of Liberty Model

Paris, France

(Photo: Rama/ WikiCommons CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ironically, the Statue of Liberty in NYC is actually a copy of this pint-sized version in the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris. Lady Liberty was designed by Frederic Bartholdi, who made several models before he was happy with the look. This final version, along with other artifacts relating to the Statue of Liberty, can be found in this industrial design museum. 

7. Rio de Janeiro Statue of Liberty Replica

Bangu, Brazil

(Photo: Carla Felizardo/WikiCommons CC BY-SA 4.0

Bartholdi was an early purveyor of Statue of Liberty copycats, and reused his design on numerous occasions. This statue in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro was commissioned from him in 1899 to commemorate the country’s anniversary of independence. It changed hands and locations a few times over the last century, but now resides permanently in the Miami Square in Bangu, a lower-middle class neighborhood in Rio’s West Zone. 

8. Lego Statue of Liberty

Billund, Denmark

(Photo: fdecomite/flickr

Lego is the toy you can really do anything with, and there’s plenty of evidence of that at Legoland, Billund. Monuments from around the world have been recreated there, including the Statue of Liberty. Legoland says that 20 million pieces of Lego went into Miniland, the section where these replica world monuments are located. 

9. Arraba Statue of Liberty

Arraba, Israel

(Photo: Public Domain/WikiCommons)

The Statue of Liberty copycats aren’t always faithful to her original form, and this version in the small city of Arraba, Israel is no exception. The origins of this heavy-set 15-foot replica are mysterious, but she still manages to draw in the occasional tourist. 

10. Tomb of the 72 Martyrs

Guangzhou, China

(Photo: Chintunglee/WikiCommons CC BY-SA 4.0)

Imperial China was toppled by revolutionaries in the early 20th century, but not without a few casualties. After one uprising in which these 72 men were lost in Guangzhou, they were buried near where they died, and given a large tomb to remember them by. The Statue of Liberty there, which was China’s first of many copycats, was placed on top in the 1920s to symbolize the struggle for freedom. It was forcefully removed and replaced several times during China’s turbulent political history. Since 1981 a new copy of the statue has maintained a vigil of the 72 martyrs of Guangzhou.