22 meters long and 11 high , the work consists of blocks of pink sandstone of Pérouse carved one by one and transported under lacittadella Belfort to be assembled . Originally it was to be addressed to Germany , but after the protests of the latter was decided to turn it towards the west .
Bartholdi would use as a model for his work as the lion tamer 's Brutus Jean - Baptiste Pezon . Construction began in 1872 and was completed in September 1879. Because of a dispute between the city and the sculptor at the time there was an inauguration official Bartholdi but still managed to organize , with the support of the citizens , an " unofficial " August 28, 1880 and covered the expenses for lighting work . On 20 April 1930 the statue was classified comemonumento historical and in 1989 was officially inaugurated by Jean - Pierre Chevènement .
There are two copies of the statue : the first is located in the Place Denfert - Rochereau , in the fourteenth district of Paris and the second in Dorchester Square in Montreal .