Main facade of the Arus Library that houses the Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty, with its imposing 46-meter high figure, has not only become the image of the city of New York but also by extension the icon of the United States and the values of democracy and freedom that is about Show the world. The statue was the gift that France gave to the North American country on the occasion of the centenary of its independence.
Many of you will know that there is a replica of the Statue of Liberty in Paris, specifically on the small island of the Swans on the Seine. Just three years after the erection of the New York statue, the French community resident in the United States presented the reply to the City of Paris, on this occasion celebrating the centenary of the French Revolution. Two historical landmarks that mark our immortalized present through the same sculpture.
However, few will know that there is another old replica of the Statue of Liberty, this time in Barcelona. Surely you have walked a thousand times along the Paseo de Sant Joan at the height of the Arc de Triomphe and have not even seen it, right ?.
Surprisingly, the usual effort of the city to convert everything that may have some interest in tourist attraction has not yet encountered our protagonist. The Statue of Liberty of Barcelona is located inside a library. In fact, it is the first public library that saw the city at the end of the 19th century and that today still has an interesting and mysterious masonic legacy. If you pass through the Arc de Triomphe and go straight north, before reaching the junction with Ausias March you will find it on your right.
The statue was commissioned in 1894 to dress the main entrance of the Arús Library to the famous modernist sculptor Manel Fuxà. And in that same place, little photogonic and only in view of the students who approach the library, the statue continues to illuminate the reception since then.
The Barcelona copy is similar to what we found on the island of Liberty Island but it is not accurate. In the book that holds the left arm instead of the date that the United States proclaimed its independence, in the copy of Fuixà you can read “Anima Libertas"-The Freedom of the Soul-. Taking into account that the commission was made by characters close to the masonry and its surroundings would be surrounded by books, I sense that the concept of freedom this time is closer to that of the liberated consciousness offered by the vast knowledge.
The Statue of Liberty in the Arús Library
Since this two meter high replica was placed in the lobby of the Arús Library in 1895 it has not moved. Definitely, its location makes it appear unnoticed. As it is a public library, do not be afraid of books, climb the entrance steps and you will see the Statue of Liberty illuminated before you.