Florence’s Statue of Liberty

Curious Florence

Rose Mackworth-Young
January 30, 2014

Atop playwright Giovanni Battista Niccolini’s tomb in the basilica of Santa Croce is a statue remarkably similar to New York’s Statue of Liberty.

 

Both depict a woman in neoclassical robes with a crown of rays, standing on a broken chain, her right arm uplifted. Pio Fedi started to design the Florentine statue, known as Liberty of Poetry, in 1870. It was the same year in which Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, designer of the New York Statue of Liberty, was in Italy, fighting alongside General Garibaldi during the Franco-Prussian War. Did he see Fedi’s sketches and use them as inspiration? We may never know, but Florentines would certainly like to think so!

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