Fake news is itself a problematic phenomenon, but it has brought about an equally dangerous trend where members of the public brand real news as fake if it suits their cause.
CBS News reported that New York’s treasured Statue of Liberty was originally supposed to be of a Muslim ‘veiled peasant woman’, because that was the original plan for the statue.
In response to those who thought of the news as anti-Trump propaganda, The Smithsonian published an article in November 2015 explaining the Arabic roots of the statue and how the French designer’s original plans were inspired by Egypt and its giant colossus figures.
Random members of the public decided they knew better and began branding it as fake news instead of looking at the facts…
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In fact, even the two year long ‘Inquiry into the History and Meaning of Bartholdi’s Liberté éclairant le Monde’ reports that ‘The statue’s design almost certainly evolved from an earlier concept Bartholdi proposed for a colossal monument in Egypt, for which the artist used his drawings of Egyptian women as models’.
The facts are, that Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the french designer of the Lady Liberty, wanted to create female Egyptian peasant as a Colossus of Rhodes for the Industrial Age.
His design of a 86 foot robe-clad woman representing Egypt, inspired by the Colossus, was intended to stand on a 48 foot pedestal on Egypt’s Seuz Canal and was to be named Libertas.
Bartholdi’s concept changed from ‘a gigantic female fellah, or Arab peasant’ into ‘a colossal goddess’ which Egypt unfortunately decided was too costly after their huge investment into the landmark canal, so they placed a 180 ft tall lighthouse there instead.
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An opportunity for him to exhibit his designs soon came when he was picked by France to create the statue gifted to America to celebrate how the two countries came together during the French Revolution.
The French artist re-purposed his concept into Liberty Enlightening the World, which is the official name for the statue that has been overlooking New York Harbor since 1886.
The Statue of Liberty has been an important symbol for immigrants for a long time. It has provoked many debates about how it should represent America welcoming those in need with open arms…quite a contrast to the country’s current message.
It is perhaps time for America to see how it is not so separate from Muslim countries, and their history has overlapped numerous times in the past and it will continue to in the future because we’re all on the same planet and we’re all human beings.