La responsabilité est le prix de la liberté

Bordeaux SofLThe other day, I wrote about various Ladies of Liberty found in Paris. Once you’re done with all the copies in Paris, you can still spot others in France.

ColmarAppropriately enough, there’s a huge replica that stands almost 40 feet tall in Colmar, Bartholdi’s home town. She’s also on a rather unglamorous traffic circle on the edge of the city. I passed her on my way out of town on a day tour. The replica was installed on the 4th of July, 2004, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of the lady’s creator. (How apropos that such an admirer of the United States was born on Independence Day.) And, of course, there’s a whole series of models that Bartholdi used when designing her in the Bartholdi museum in Colmar.

Bordeaux 2The one in Bordeaux has a rather colorful history. This one is slightly smaller than the copy in the Jardin du Luxembourg, at just over 8 feet. It was destroyed by the Nazi’s during the occupation of France.  It was replaced with a copy in 2000 and a plaque was added to honor the victims of September 11. A couple of years later, vandals poured red paint and gasoline over the lady and set her on fire as well as destroying the plaque. They were never caught.

Statue_de_la_Liberte-PoitiersIf those aren’t enough statutes for you, go to la place de la Liberté in Poitiers. Where there used to be a guillotine in the square during the French Revolution, there is now one of the smaller-sized statues officially produced by Bartholdi, installed in 1903, in honor of a general. Her torch is rather different, but there’s no mistaking her family resemblance.

Lunel SofLLunel, near Montpellier in the south of France, also boasts a genuine reduced-size statue. It’s only been there since 1989, to mark the centennial of the French Revolution.

A small terracotta version of the statue is in the musée des beaux-arts de Lyon in the east of France. Bartholdi also sculpted a major fountain in the town’s principal square, so the city has a particular affection for the sculptor and his works.

The tiny town of Châteauneuf-la-Forêt, near Limoges in the south-western quadrant of the country has a small replica of the statue atop the memorial to those who died in the First World War.

cambrinCambrin, in the north of France, has less than 1,000 residents, and of them is a reduced-size replica of the Statue of Liberty. She’s about 10 feet tall and also serves as a war memorial to 26 members of this tiny town who died in the war that didn’t end all wars.

Bartholdi's Statue of Liberty

There are so many other Bartholdi reproductions in France, I’m going to have to spread their stories out over at least another day.

Frenchman Cyrille Guimard said, “La responsabilité est le prix de la liberté” (lah res-pon-sa-bill-ee-tay eh luh pree duh lah leeb-air-tay), which means “Responsibility is the price of liberty.” The fact that so many of these other statues are war memorials certainly makes that connection clear. Liberty does indeed come at a price.

51pfJsew%2BrL__SL75_Lady with a Past: A Petulant French Sculptor, his Quest for Immortality, and the Real Story of the Statue of Liberty

About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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4 Responses to La responsabilité est le prix de la liberté

  1. Pingback: La liberté est choix | One quality, the finest.

  2. Pingback: L’homme est né libre | One quality, the finest.

  3. andreveloz says:

    My favorite NewYorker is absolutely French.

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