Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
Did you know that the man thanks to whom it was finally possible to put Frederic Bartholdi´s Statue of Liberty on her today´s spot on Liberty Island (former Bedloe´s Island) in New York wasn´t even invited to its unveiling ceremony?
Joseph Pulitzer who ran the “New York World” (an avant-garde of the so called “yellow journalism”) organised a clever campaign that greatly helped collect the financial means necessary to build the pedestal for the statue (the statue itself was a gift from the people of France to the people of the great, democratic America). Although the statue was ready and already shipped over from France, the Americans were still discussing who should pay how much for the symbol of their freedom.
Pulitzer promised to published the name of every person participating in the campaign, no matter how small the donation. As a result, over 120,000 people sent in their money, most of them less than one dollar each. Their involvement was the people´s answer to the American millionaires embarrassing reluctance to open their purse strings. Among the donors were simple working men and women, many poor farmers, black citizens and Americans of all cultures and religions present at the time in the country
However, during the dedication ceremony for the Statue of Liberty and during the symbolic unveiling of this wonder of Art and Engineering the list of invited guests was very homogeneous: only white Anglo-Saxon men. No women, no black people, no Jews.
Pulitzer being a Jew and not even born in America was not good enough to join the party.
Last night ARTE, an excellent Franco-German TV channel, presented a dramatised documentary about the amazing story of the Statue of Liberty and its maker, Bartholdi. Available through this link in German (or through ARTE´s French page in French) only.