Commemorating the Statue of Liberty's
French politician and writer Édouard René de Laboulaye was one of the first to suggest giving America a gift to mark the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. French sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi designed the sculpture and Gustave Eiffel (designer of the Eiffel Tower) designed the iron pylon and skeletal framework of the statue.
To fund the statue, the people of France made public donations. Also, performances were used to raise money, including La liberté éclairant le monde (Liberty enlightening the world) by future famous composer Charles Gounod. In all, $250,000 was raised. Similarly, the U.S., which had agreed to build the statue’s base, held several benefit events, art exhibitions, auctions and prizefights to raise money.
Although Laboulaye initially planned to present the statue to America in 1876, but a late start and several delays made this impossible. The right arm and torch were completed in time, and were put on display at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The statue was completed in France in 1884 and was dedicated on October 28, 1886 by President Grover Cleveland.