New York: The Statue of Liberty was inspired by a project representing an Arab woman guarding the Suez Canal, researchers said.

USA's Statue

French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who travelled to Egypt in 1855-1856, developed there a “passion for large-scale public monuments,” said the US National Park Service.

When the Egyptian government sought proposals in 1869 to build a lighthouse for the Suez Canal, Bartholdi designed a huge statue of a robed woman holding a torch. The sculpture originally took “form of a veiled peasant woman,” a researcher said.

Bartholdi’s second chance came when French historian Edouard de Laboulaye originated the idea of a monument presented by the French people to the US. In 1870, Bartholdi began designing the statue based on his previous design. It was inaugurated in 1886.