An American Saturday in Nice

A miniature version of the Statue of Liberty now sits on Nice’s seafront

The brand new layout of the Quai des Etats Unis features a bronze miniature copy of the Statue of Liberty, which was inaugurated on Saturday morning. Meanwhile, American organisation Democrats Abroad met in Nice for an overall very American Saturday.

After months of renovations, the Quai des Etats Unis in Nice was given back to pedestrians with a new layout featuring a larger pathway, a bicycle lane and rows of blue chairs similar to those on the Promenade des Anglais. Alongside those renovations, a Statue of Liberty was inaugurated.

The 1.35 metre bronze statue, weighing 80 kilograms, was the last model left from French artist Frederic Bartholdi, who is known for creating New York’s giant Statue of Liberty with engineer Gustave Eiffel in 1886.

“We wanted this statue to be modest, as our goal isn’t to compete with New York,” said Mayor Christian Estrosi during the ceremony, which was followed by a concert celebrating American music at the nearby Opera House.

While not rivalling New York, some have pointed out that the upcoming park in Nice’s Eco Valley is somewhat reminiscent of the Big Apple’s Central Park.

With New York and Nice’s statues facing the sea, U.S. Consul General Diane Kelly acknowledged the symmetry between the two port cities, which are only a few hours away thanks to a direct flight from Nice’s airport. “For me, it’s as if the two sides of the waters that part us are coming closer together,” she told The Riviera Times.

Kelly concluded her speech with a few words in English for the Americans in the audience: “I’m proud to see so many Americans come back to France to spread our culture, to share our beliefs and to get to know what French people think.”

Scott Baker, local chair of Democrats Abroad, seconds that though, saying, “This was a good opportunity for Americans living on the Côte d’Azur in building those Franco-American relations.”

Democrats Abroad France was meeting in Nice on the same day, preparing a strategy to mobilise American expats for the upcoming midterm elections in the United States, which will take place in November.

Also published on the Riviera Times Online