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The Statue of Liberty has become such a world-renowned icon that just by seeing it most people instantly realize either where the setting of a story is (New York) or that it involves America and its ideals in some way.
A gift from the people of France (to celebrate the parallel fights for freedom of Colonial America and Napoleonic France, and having helped each other many times) it is on Pedestal Island near Ellis Island, a small island off the coast of Manhattan, where immigrants to the United States used to be processed before entering the country.
Properly building and setting up the statue took years; it became a project that attracted national interest. Pieces such as the arm and head were exposed to the public before installation. Naturally, there was a big celebration upon its conclusion.
One of the Seven (manmade) Wonders of the World.
Tropes it has evoked:
- After the End: Often seen in these kind of works to show how Man's hubris is ultimately pointless... or give hope that humanity will rise again.
- American Dream
- Big Applesauce: Can't have New York City without it.
- Captain Ersatz: Many people mistake Columbia, the figure in the opening sequence of Columbia Pictures films, with her.
- Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: What do you mean, the FRENCH made it??
- Eagle Land, either version.
- Expy: The statue has numerous smaller copies around the world, most famously the one in Las Vegas.
- Geen Skinned Metal Babe: The statue was originally made of shining copper, but the weather changed it over the years. The public liked it that way so much they resisted attempts to restore it.
- Humongous Mecha: If it's a Weaponised Landmark, it tends to be this.
- I Am Not Shazam: The proper name of the statue is "Liberty Enlightening the World". She was based on Libertas, the Roman Goddess of Freedom, and Lady Liberty.
- Living Statue: In many works, most notably Ghostbusters II.
- Monumental Damage: The shock value of seeing it damaged or destroyed is enormous, most famously in Planet of the Apes. It has even been "stolen" on occasion.
- Weaponized Landmark: In X Men, Men In Black II and other stories.