The Statue of Liberty was once brown in colour

It may come as a surprise but one of the United States' most recognisable icons wasn't always green.

Gifted by the French and designed by sculptor, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the Statue of Liberty is made from copper and is based on the roman liberty goddess.

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Statue of Liberty
View of the head of the Statue of Liberty, designed by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, on display on the Champ de Mars, Paris, France, 1878. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Frederic Bartholdi, French sculptor, 1880. Bartholdi (1834-1904) is probably best known for his 'Liberty Enlightening the World', better known today as the Statue of Liberty. Dedicated in 1886, it was a gift to the United States from France to commemorate the friendship between the two countries. A photograph from Album de Photographies, Dans L'Intimite de Personnages Illustres, 1860-1920, Editions MD, 22 Rue de L'Arcade, Paris 8, 1860-1920. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
Two engravings by J.O. Davidson that appeared in June 13, 1885 edition of Scientific American and Buff contain plans for the pedestal which will support the Statue of Liberty. (Photo by Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
circa 1884: The left hand of the Statue of Liberty under construction. Sixty men have worked for almost ten years on the various parts of the statue, not including its designer Frederic Bartholdi and his assistants. Original Publication: From The Strand Magazine. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
circa 1885: The framework for the right arm of the Statue Of Liberty during construction in Paris. Designed by the French sculptor Frederick Bartholdi, the statue was presented to the United States by France in 1876. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
View of the Statue of Liberty enclosed by scaffolding, while under construction, seen from the Rue de Chazelles, Paris, France, circa 1884. (Photo by Paul-Joseph-Victor Dargand/Frederic Lewis/Getty Images)
Head of the Statue of Liberty on Display in Paris, 1883 (Photo by Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
circa 1883: The construction of the Statue of Liberty in Paris, before its journey to the United States. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The feet of the Statue of Liberty arrive on Liberty Island 1885. The statue was a gift from the people of France to the United States, It represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
Segments of the Statue of Liberty during its construction in the workshop of French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, Paris, France, circa 1880. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Visitors observe the hand and torch of the Statue of Liberty at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876. Pennsylvania, USA. (Photo by Centennial Photographic Company/Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
Artisans at Bartholdi's Parisian warehouse construct a full scale model of the Statue of Liberty's left hand, Winter 1882. (Photo by Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
Looking Down at Statue of Liberty (Photo by Stoddard/Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
Statue of Liberty, unveiled in New York, United States of America, engraving from L'Illustrazione Italiana, No 47, November 14, 1886.
Victor Dargaud (Ca, 1850 Ð After 1913), The Statue of Liberty, by Bartholdi, in the workshop of the Gayet foundry, Rue de Chazelles, 1884, Oil on canvas, 0,46 x 0,32 m, Paris Carnavalet Museum. (Photo by: Christophel Fine Art/UIG via Getty Images)
The Isere ship, with the Statue of Liberty on board, arriving into New York port, United States of America, illustration by Tilly from L'Illustration, Journal Universel, No 2211, Volume LXXXVI, July 11, 1885.
Statue of Liberty torch, New York, United States of America, illustration by Tilly from L'Illustration, Journal Universel, No 2210, Volume LXXXVI, July 4, 1885.
View of the Statue of Liberty, 1886, by Auguste Bartholdi (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1984), Liberty Island, New York, United States of America, 19th century.
UNITED STATES - APRIL 23: The Statue of Liberty, 1886, designed by Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904) (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1984), Liberty Island, New York, United States of America. Detail. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
Assembly of the Statue of Liberty in New York, United States of America, illustration by Thiriat from L'Illustration, Journal Universel, No 2278, Volume LXXXVIII, October 23, 1886.
Design for the Statue of Liberty to be built at the entrance to New York bay for the centenary of American independence, United States of America, from a drawing by Bartholdi, illustration by Maurand from L'Illustration, Journal Universel, No 1702, Volume LXVI, October 9, 1875.
UNITED STATES - APRIL 23: The Statue of Liberty, 1886, designed by Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904) (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1984), Liberty Island, New York, United States of America. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
Hammering in the first rivet to put the Statue of Liberty on its pedestal, Paris, France, from a photograph by Pierre Petit, illustration from L'Illustration, Journal Universel, No 2019, Volume LXXVIII, November 5, 1881.
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 11: The Statue of Liberty, 1886, designed by Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904) (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1984), Liberty Island, New York, United States of America. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
The Statue of Liberty executed by Bartholdi, 1886, United States,, . (Photo by: Photo12/UIG via Getty Images)
New York, Liberty Island, Statue Of Liberty National Monument, Designed By Frederick Bartholdi 1884. (Photo by: Jeff Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)
SAN MARINO - OCTOBER 31: The Statue of Liberty, in white Carrara marble, by Stefano Galletti (1832-1905), San Marino, Republic of San Marino. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - DECEMBER 05: The statue of Liberty and its sculptor and designer, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. 19th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
FRANCE - DECEMBER 05: Melting the gown of the Statue of Liberty of New York by the sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi in Paris, in the presence of Ambassador Levi Morton in the Thiebaut laboratories, 1885, drawing by Karl Fichot. France, 19th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
The Statue of Liberty, New York, New York, 1898. (Photo by Geo. P. Hall & Son/The New York Historical Society/Getty Images)
The French Statue of Liberty on the river Seine and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. (Photo by Independent Picture Service/UIG via Getty Images)
The Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island, New York, New York, 1898. (Photo by Geo. P. Hall & Son/The New York Historical Society/Getty Images)
The Statue of Liberty, New York, New York, 1895. (Photo by Geo. P. Hall & Son/The New York Historical Society/Getty Images)
Statue of Liberty in 1890 (Photo by Seneca Ray Stoddard/Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
Unveiling the Statue of Liberty (October 28, 1886) by Edward Moran (Photo by Francis G. Mayer/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1885: New York. Bartholdi 'Statue of Liberty,' erected on Bedloe's Island, in New York Harbor (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
Liberty. Bronzed terracotta. Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904) French, 1875. This figure belongs to an edition of cast terracottas produced after a preliminary model for the Statue of Liberty. (Photo by Universal History Archive/UIG/Getty Images)
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The stature and the iron frame arrived piece by piece and was dedicated on her new home on Liberty Island in New York harbour in 1886.

The green hue is a result of oxidation of the external which helps to form a weather proof barrier against the elements.

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