It was proposed by French national Edouard de Laboulaye and constructed in France.
But was the original Statue of Liberty actually of a black woman, given by France but rejected by the US?
That’s the claim in a meme shared on Facebook in South Africa.
It shows two statues. One is of a black woman in white robes, holding up a lamp in her left hand. The caption reads: “Given to us by France to pay homage to the slaves whom were brought here by force.”
The second is the Statue of Liberty. It’s captioned: “The original was refused by America, so they made a new one with a white face.”
‘Towering form of a Caribbean woman’
But a reverse image search tracks the first statue down to the Caribbean island of St Martin.
Titled Lady Liberty, it was created by sculptor Theodore Bonev and unveiled in 2007 to mark the 159th anniversary of the abolition of slavery on the French side of the island.
St Martin is the French side, and St Maarten the Dutch side of the island.
“The stunning beauty and elegance of Lady Liberty, unveiled to mark the 159th anniversary of emancipation from slavery on the French Side, left the gathering at Agrément roundabout in awe Sunday afternoon,” it reads.
“Holding up a lantern in her toned, strong left hand to give light, the towering form of a Caribbean woman with short, curly hair in a flowing white dress dwarfs everything around her as she watches over the village.”
Symbol of emancipation
In 2017 Lady Liberty was damaged in a hurricane, and the newspaper reported on the repairs.
The Statue of Liberty was unveiled in 1886, and Lady Liberty in 2007 – 121 years later. The second could not be the original, rejected version of the first. – Mary Alexander
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.
Fighting coronavirus misinformation
Africa Check is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers fighting misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic.
Learn more about the alliance here.
© Copyright Africa Check 2020. Read our republishing guidelines. You may reproduce this piece or content from it for the purpose of reporting and/or discussing news and current events. This is subject to: Crediting Africa Check in the byline, keeping all hyperlinks to the sources used and adding this sentence at the end of your publication: “This report was written by Africa Check, a non-partisan fact-checking organisation. View the original piece on their website", with a link back to this page.