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Biggest gift ever?

8 mins. read

Published in the Sunday Mumbai Samachar on 07 April, 2024

Today, I want us to talk about gifts. Over the last 10 years, there is one thing that we are 100% convinced of. And that is, if you really want to celebrate life and make memories with your loved ones, a holiday is the perfect gift! Hundreds of Veena World travellers have gifted Veena World holidays to their loved ones to date.

But in all this, our guests always had one challenge. They would want to gift a holiday, but would often be unsure of the dates or destination that their loved ones wanted to go to. They couldn’t even ask them this, because they wanted this gift to be a surprise! So we decided to take the challenge out of it and just introduced Veena World Gift Cards. You can today buy a Veena World Gift Card using our new Gift a Tour feature on

All you have to do is, enter your details, enter the details of the person you want to gift the card too, type out a personal message for them, select the amount and go on and purchase the gift card. Like always, we at Veena World will handle everything else.

Your loved ones will receive a superbly designed Gift Card on email and they can then choose their destination and dates. If you want to check it out, scan this QR code:

And speaking of gifts, I want to talk about one of the largest gifts ever! All of us have heard of the Statue of Liberty in New York, USA. It’s probably the first thing that comes to our minds when we think of the United States of America. But did you know that the Statue of Liberty was actually a gift to the USA? Imagine, such a massive gift! So today let’s find out more about this incredible gift.

Standing tall on Liberty Island in New York Harbour, the Statue of Liberty is more than a monument; it is a powerful symbol of freedom and hope that has greeted millions of visitors and immigrants for over a century. Gifted by France to the United States in 1886, this colossal statue represents a universal symbol of democracy and liberty. As one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, the Statue of Liberty holds a special place in the American ethos, embodying ideals that resonate across the globe. Let’s explore more about the rich history, symbolism, and enduring legacy of this iconic monument.

Let’s first dive into a little bit of history. The story of the Statue of Liberty begins in the late 19th century, born out of a desire to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of American independence and the enduring friendship between France and the United States. French historian Édouard René de Laboulaye first proposed the idea, envisioning a grand gift to symbolize the shared values of liberty and democracy between France and America. The project gained momentum when Laboulaye collaborated with Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a French sculptor known for his grand and expressive works. Bartholdi was captivated by the idea of creating a monumental statue that would symbolize the enduring friendship between France and the United States, as well as their shared dedication to liberty and freedom.

The realization of the Statue of Liberty was a monumental undertaking that required transatlantic cooperation, significant fundraising efforts, and innovative engineering solutions. In France, public campaigns, fundraising events, and contributions from French citizens provided the necessary funds for the statue's construction. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, alongside engineer Gustave Eiffel, who later constructed the Eiffel Tower, worked meticulously on the design and structure of the statue. Eiffel specifically designed the statue's internal framework, ensuring its stability and endurance. Construction of the statue was a monumental task.

Concurrently, in the United States, efforts were underway to raise funds for the statue's pedestal, a task that proved to be challenging. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer played a pivotal role in rallying public support through a fundraising campaign in his newspaper, "The World." His appeals to the American sense of pride and patriotism eventually succeeded, and contributions from across the nation, often in small amounts from everyday citizens, funded the pedestal's construction.

The collaboration between French and American teams was marked by innovation and perseverance in the face of technical challenges. The statue was constructed in France, with Bartholdi overseeing the painstaking process of hammering copper sheets to form the statue's skin, a technique known as repoussé. After completion, the statue was disassembled into 350 pieces and shipped across the Atlantic to New York in 214 crates.

The Statue of Liberty was officially unveiled on October 28, 1886, in a ceremony attended by thousands, including dignitaries from France and the United States.

Today, the Statue of Liberty stands at over 305 feet (93 meters) tall from the ground to the tip of the torch, making it one of the tallest statues at the time of its inauguration. Held aloft in the statue's right hand, the torch symbolizes enlightenment, lighting the path to liberty and freedom. The original torch, replaced in 1986 with a gold-leaf covered flame, shines brightly, visible from miles away, serving as a beacon of hope. In her left hand, the statue holds a tablet inscribed with the date of the American Declaration of Independence (JULY IV MDCCLXXVI). This links the statue directly to the birth of the United States, emphasizing the nation's foundational principles of freedom and democracy.

The statue's crown and the seven rays emanating from it represent the sun, the seven seas, and the seven continents, highlighting the universal concept of liberty that the United States symbolizes to the world. At the statue's feet lie broken shackles and chains, symbolizing the breaking away from oppression and tyranny. This powerful imagery underscores the statue's message of freedom and liberation. The exterior copper skin is less than 2.4 mm thick, about the thickness of two pennies.

Over the years, the Statue of Liberty has transcended its original purpose, becoming a symbol of hope and freedom for people around the world. Today, the Statue of Liberty is more than a monument; it is a vital part of the American story, attracting millions of visitors each year. The colour of the statue has changed over time; the copper has naturally oxidized to form a patina that gives it the green color seen today. The Statue of Liberty Museum, opened in 2019, offers guests a deeper understanding of the statue's history and legacy through interactive exhibits. Liberty Island, accessible by ferry, provides a unique opportunity to experience this symbol of freedom up close, offering stunning views of the New York City skyline.

This gift from France to the United States remains one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, embodying the spirit of international friendship and the shared aspirations of humanity. So what do you think, can you imagine a gift as large as this? I can only think of a few more, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. So write to me at Until next time, keep celebrating life!

April 06, 2024


Neil Patil
Neil Patil

Founder & Director, Veena World

More Blogs by Neil Patil

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