Little Liberty moving to Brooklyn

Statue displaced by housing project

February 28, 2002|By David W. Dunlap | David W. Dunlap,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK - She will lift her lamp beside the Eastern Parkway.

A small-scale Statue of Liberty that served for a century as a gateway to the Upper West Side of Manhattan - at least for those eagle-eyed enough to spot her atop the Liberty Warehouse at 43 W. 64th St. - has been given to the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

"The statue, which is very beautiful, can be enjoyed by a lot more people in a museum setting," said Louis M. Dubin, president of the Athena Group, which is converting the eight-story warehouse into a 12-story apartment house, depriving little Liberty of her rooftop perch.

The Athena Group, Athena Liberty Lofts and Brickman Associates are donating the statue in honor of the city's police officers, firefighters and emergency workers. Dubin said he could not put a dollar value on the statue. (Comparables are hard to come by.)

"We are thrilled," said Marc Mayer, a deputy director of the museum.

Under scrutiny for the first time in decades, the statue revealed some long-held secrets. Dubin said it was made of steel alloy cast in many sections that were welded together. It will be removed later this month in one piece, he said, because no one is sure it can be so artfully reassembled.

The statue will require conservation and may go on a national tour. But for a couple of weeks, at least, it should be visible in an outdoor storage area behind the museum.

"People will be able to see it," Mayer said. "You can't miss a 30-foot sculpture."

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