French Prez Sarkozy in NYC to Fete Lady Liberty

Wednesday, Sep 21, 2011  |  Updated 4:15 PM EDT
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French Prez Sarkozy in NYC to Fete Lady Liberty

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French president Nicolas Sarkozy is arriving in New York City Thursday to meet with Mayor Bloomberg and celebrate the 125th anniversary of the arrival of the Statue of Liberty.

Sarkozy and Bloomberg will speak on Liberty Island "to celebrate the 125 years of friendship between New York City and France," according to an advisory from the mayor's office.

The actual anniversary date falls on Oct. 28. A separate ceremony is scheduled to be held on the island by National Parks Service that day.

The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the U.S. from the people of France in recognition of a friendship established during the American Revolution. It was constructed in France, shipped to New York in crates, and assembled on a pedestal on what was then called Bedloe's Island.

The statue's completion was marked by New York' s first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland on Oct. 28, 1886.

Sarkozy's visit to New York City comes just weeks after the departure here of another famous Frenchman: former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn left his Tribeca townhouse Sept. 3 to return to Paris after spending the summer here while prosecutors pursued a sexual assault case against him. The charges were ultimately dropped.

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