Old photos of the Statue of Liberty standing in Paris were extraordinarily surreal

In science fiction filmdom, the destruction of the Statue of Liberty is merely a sign that the carnage is chugging along at a steady tack. But reality provides some equally strange views of Lady Liberty, particularly when she was under construction in Paris during the mid-1880s. Here are some curious photographs of this iconic Statue in various states of disarray.

The Statue of Liberty was supposed to be a centennial gift from France to the United States, but funding difficulties waylaid the project for almost a decade.

The head and torch were completed long before the base and the rest of the body — these disembodied sculptures were put on display years prior, with the hand ending up at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876. Only after a decade of fundraising did construction accelerate. As the National Park Service explains:

Old photos of the Statue of Liberty standing in Paris were extraordinarily surrealS

Financing for the pedestal was completed in August 1885, and pedestal construction was finished in April of 1886.

The Statue was completed in France in July, 1884 and arrived in New York Harbor in June of 1885 on board the French frigate "Isere" which transported the Statue of Liberty from France to the United States. In transit, the Statue was reduced to 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates.

The Statue was re-assembled on her new pedestal in four months time. On October 28th 1886, the dedication of the Statue of Liberty took place in front of thousands of spectators.

Here are some photographs of the Statue looming over Paris. They evoke the spoils of some time-traveling despot who steals monuments throughout history. Or perhaps that never-was post-apocalyptic thriller, Planet of the Men with Mustaches.

Old photos of the Statue of Liberty standing in Paris were extraordinarily surrealS

Old photos of the Statue of Liberty standing in Paris were extraordinarily surrealS

Old photos of the Statue of Liberty standing in Paris were extraordinarily surrealS

Old photos of the Statue of Liberty standing in Paris were extraordinarily surrealS

Old photos of the Statue of Liberty standing in Paris were extraordinarily surrealS

Old photos of the Statue of Liberty standing in Paris were extraordinarily surrealS

Old photos of the Statue of Liberty standing in Paris were extraordinarily surrealS

Old photos of the Statue of Liberty standing in Paris were extraordinarily surrealS

[Via The New York Public Library, Ptak Science Books, Ptak again, and Retronaut]