A controversial new theory suggests the sculptor who created the Statue of Liberty may have used his brother as the template rather than his mother, as commonly believed.
The idea is set out in a new series of Secrets of America’s Favourite Places to be broadcast on the Discovery Family Channel on Sunday.
It explains how the statue was an early example of a crowdfunded project – with money raised from the French public to pay for its construction costs – rather than a gift from the country’s authoritarian government.
Most controversially, however, Elizabeth Mitchell, an author and journalist, questions the idea that Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the French creator of a statue properly known as Liberty Enlightening the World, used his mother as inspiration.
“As I was looking at it more carefully, the structure of the face isn’t really the same. [His mother] has a more arched eyebrow, has a thinner nose, has thinner lips, even in her youth. And he was a bust-maker … and was known for his accuracy,” she told The New York Post.