The Original Meaning of the Statue of Liberty

From: Alan P.
Sent on: Friday, February 8, 2013 10:42 AM
In an interesting article about love and art in the NYTimes this morning The last two paragraphs discussed the Statue and the fact that it is now associated with Emma Lazarus's poem "The New Colossus":
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free" etc.

The article continues:  "As a matter of historical fact, "Liberty Enlightening the World," as the sculpture was officially titled, was not originally meant to have anything to do with immigration.  Completed in 1886, it was supposed to represent the shared ideals of the American and French Revolutions: the triumph of reason over religious dogma and of of republican democracy over the tyranny of kings and aristocrats.  Neither Lazarus's poem nor it sentiments were part of it until 1903, when a small bronze plaque displaying the text was installed in a room in the statue's base in the form of a small bronze plaque, where it became an inspiration for millions of immigrants,  It was those newcomers who turned the statue into the beacon of love it was never supposed to be and forever attached to it in spirit, if not actuality a poem of philia* at its most expansive"

*The beginning of the article mentioned the three kinds of love philosophers have described: "eros, or passionate, sensual attraction to another person; philia, or affection for family, friends, clubs, teams, nations and humanity in general; and agape, which is love for God or the functional equivalent."

Alan B. Palmer
A bright - Elevating and Illuminating a Naturalistic World View
[address removed]


w
ww/the-brights.org

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