- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Statue of Liberty was originally intended to represent a female Muslim peasant guarding the approach to the Suez Canal, the Smithsonian said Tuesday.

Smithsonian magazine confirmed a story by The Daily Beast last week saying Statue of Liberty sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi of France was unable to sell the Muslim peasant idea to the khedive of Egypt, Ishma’il Pasha. The design of the project was eventually altered to the Roman colossus that overlooks New York harbor today.

“Bartholdi envisioned a colossal monument featuring a robe-clad woman representing Egypt to stand at Port Said, the city at the northern terminus of the canal in Egypt,” Smithsonian magazine said.

Egypt rejected the plan as too costly, but Bartholdi was not discouraged, the magazine said. “He eventually repurposed his concept into ‘Liberty Enlightening the World’ — the official name for the statue that has been overlooking New York Harbor since 1886.”

Smithsonian magazine boasted this is a “little-known fact” about Lady Liberty that “adds an intriguing twist to today’s debate about refugees from the Muslim world.”

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