The first Statue of Liberty sent to the US 135 years ago was a hit, and France is making a similar—albeit smaller—gesture this summer. A nearly 10-foot-tall exact replica was sent off from Paris in a ceremony Monday, WLNE reports, where it's been in the garden of the National Museum of Arts and Crafts since 2011. After a nine-day journey by sea, the bronze, 992-pound statue will be placed on Ellis Island, facing the larger version. It will be in place July 1-5, in time for Independence Day celebrations. "The arrival of the new Lady Liberty statue will celebrate the most central value of the French-American partnership: freedom," said the CMA CGM Group, which is involved in the shipping, per NPR. "The technological, artistic, and logistics challenges to bring this new statue to America tell a modern tale of successful international cooperation."
The replica next will be moved to the French ambassador's residence in Washington, DC, where it will stay for 10 years. Like the bigger statue, which reached New York in 1886, this one is meant as a symbol of US-France friendship. "The statue symbolizes freedom and the light around all the world," said an official with the Paris museum. "We want to send a very simple message: Our friendship with the United States is very important, particularly at this moment." Like the 151-foot original, the replica includes the crown with seven spikes, for the rays of the sun emanating to the rest of the world, a tablet showing the date of US independence, and broken chains and shackles at its left foot, representing the end of slavery. (Read more Statue of Liberty stories.)