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Easily one of the world's most famous figures, the Statue of Liberty is seen as a symbol of freedom and democracy by both Americans and foreigners alike. Despite the statue's fame, however, New York tourists and even locals might have a hard time recognizing Lady Liberty in conceptual artist Danh Vo's "We The People" exhibition, put on by Public Art Fund.
That's because Vo's exhibition sees a life-size replica of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi's celebrated statue broken into 250 pieces and dispersed throughout two boroughs. In Lower Manhattan's City Hall Park, for instance, you'll find a curl of Lady Liberty's hair; and inside Brooklyn Bridge Park sits the draped sleeve of her right arm.
The pieces took Vo three years to make. He used the same copper material and metalwork techniques that original sculptor Bartholdi used. Not only did Vo emulate the master craftman's methods, but he was inspired to create his 250 pieces after discovering an interesting fact about the figure's size.
"When I found that the Statue of Liberty was only the thickness of two pennies, I thought that was very intriguing," he told Wall Street Journal. "Because you always think of this as, you know, a colossal thing, but in reality two millimeters is not that much."
Although Vo has created 250 components, only 53 pieces will be displayed throughout the city. Most of the more famous parts of the figure rest in private collections, which is probably a good thing given the artwork's popularity. Apparently, a part of the statue's foot was stolen from City Hall Park days before the exhibition even opened.
"Danh Vo: We the People" opened May 17 and will be on display through Dec. 5, 2014 at City Hall Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park.