Fox & Friends were recently confronted with a theory that the Statue of Liberty, the icon of American freedom, could possibly be a man. A new Discovery Family program titled, “Secrets of America’s Favorite Places” suggests that French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi used his brother as a template for the famous statue.
Elizabeth Mitchell, who wrote Liberty’s Torch: The Great Adventure To Build the Statue of Liberty states that while many believe the sculptor used his mother as a model, she found the statue looked much more like his brother whom Bartholdi visited often.
Fox brought on Edward Berenson, a professor of history and director of the Institute of French Studies at New York University to give his own take. The professor completely dismisses the theory that Bartholdi based the statue on any of his family members. Berenson, who wrote his own book on the icon, The Statue of Liberty. A Transatlantic Story, claims that Bartholdi never mentioned sculpting the statue was based on his mother.
Rather, he says Lady Liberty is based on “classical images of liberty,” specifically a Roman goddess of liberty inspired by much of post-French Revolution imagery.
“This was not a tongue-in-cheek gift,” says Berenson.
When asked if Lady Liberty transcends femininity or masculinity, the scholar said, “There’s no question she’s a tough lady. She’s a lady.”
She’s a lady everyone! Now you and Fox & Friends can rest easy knowing that the 93 meters and 450,000 pounds of copper and iron we’ve had to greet immigrants since 1886 is a lady hunk of metal and not a male one.