Letting the Statue of Liberty’s Copper Shine Again

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most familiar icons in the world and everyone sees her as this giant green goddess

George J. Ziogas
4 min readMay 13


© THANANIT / Adobe Stock

What color is the Statue of Liberty? The obvious answer is green. That’s what she is in our minds, on T-shirts, and in the resin replicas around the world. Lady Liberty looks good in green, and most of us have never had any reason to think of her in any other color. But she wasn’t always this way.

Once upon a time, when she was a shiny new gift from the French in 1885, the nation saw the full glory of her copper metal body. She had a metallic glow that, to be honest, is lacking in her current form. There’s no doubt that this color would work in today’s culture. There’s a nice aesthetic quality to the rich firey tones against the New Jersey skyline.

So what happened? How did she lose her glow, and is there any chance of her getting it back? More importantly, should she get that copper tone back even if she could?

Lady Liberty Earned Her Green Color Over Time

Let’s start with why she’s green. Lady Liberty has been watching over these amber waves of grain and purple mountains for over a century now. Understandably, she’s looking her age, and that’s why she’s green and not copper.

Copper metals develop a patina called verdigris when exposed to the elements, and there’s no hiding from the stormy salty water of the Eastern Seaboard in New York Harbor. She’s been battered by wind and rain while welcoming those huddled masses yearning for freedom. Over time, the green set in, and the copper faded. There are some small areas untouched by the weather where you can see the original color, but you have to know where to look.

Turning Lady Liberty Copper Again

The idea of bringing the Statute of Liberty back to her old self is intriguing for everyone who never got to see her in her full glory. Wouldn’t it be fun to give her a little spa treatment and help her get that youthful glow back again?

It isn’t impossible. Treatments are available where worn copper statues and roofs are power-washed and treated to…



George J. Ziogas

Manners will take you where money won’t | HR Consultant | OHS Specialist | Personal Trainer | ziogasjgeorge@gmail.com