Question from Gary: I’ve noticed that the Statue of Liberty is green. Not just the robe, but her skin is green too.
Why did they paint her green instead of a more natural color?
Rick’s answer: That’s a great question, Gary. And there’s a very simple two-word answer: They didn’t!
Lady Liberty’s original color was the reddish-brown color of copper, because that’s exactly what the statue’s outer shell is made of.
After the statue was given its permanent home on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, it’s copper shell immediately began interacting with the oxygen in the New York air.
The resulting oxidation caused the copper to change colors over time, eventually turning from its original reddish-brown to the bluish-green color we see today.
This process of oxidation is also why you’ll sometimes find an old green penny laying in the bottom of a drawer someplace.
Over the years many folks have recommended painting the Statue of Liberty or at least removing the oxidation to return it to its original color, but that will probably never happen.
Most people seem to like Lady Liberty just the way she is, so she’s likely to stay that familiar green color forever!
Here’s a short, but very interesting video that explains Lady Liberty’s bluish-green color in a little more detail. Check it out!
Note: As always, you can watch the video at full screen by clicking the “square” icon that will pop up in the lower-right corner of the video after it begins playing.