Diplomacy and country relations are often strengthened with displays of friendship, through the giving of gifts. Some gifts are larger than others and this list gives you some of the monumental gifts given in modern times.
The Statue of Liberty, New York, USA (Gifted by France)
The statue represents Libertas, the Roman Goddess, who carries a torch and a tablet. The torch symbolises a world enlightened by liberty and the tablet is inscribed with the American Declaration of Independence. It is an important symbol of freedom for those seeking a new life abroad as immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
The Leif Ericson Statue, Reykjavik, Iceland (Gifted by USA)
In front of the Church of Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavik, Iceland, stands a 3 metre (10ft) statue of an Icelandic explorer, considered to be the first European to land on North American shores. It is a powerful image he portrays of bravery, discovery and strength.
Il Cavallo (Da Vinci’s Horse), Milan, Italy (Gifted by USA)
The Duke of Milan commissioned Leonardo Da Vinci to build the greatest equine statue in the world and after having studied horses for a long period of time, Da Vinci began modelling the structure in clay. Following tension in the region, French invaders passed through the town, taking all the bronze to build cannons and using the clay horse model for shooting practice. All Da Vinci’s work was for nought, but a retired American pilot sought to continue it and finally cast the bronze giant as a gift in 1999.
Gates of Peace, Hiroshima, Japan (Gifted by France)
Ten Peace Gates were gifted to the people of Japan in memorial of the devastation that resulted from the US nuclear attacks on the city of Hiroshima. Each gate stands 9 metres tall and represent the nine gates of Hell, plus the living hell of Hiroshima during the atomic bombing. The word “Peace” is inscribed in 49 different languages, covering the gates with a message of hope.
Luxor Obelisk, Paris, France (Gifted by Egypt)
There are actually four obelisks of its kind, three of which were given as gifts to UK (placed in London), USA (placed in New York) and this one in France, placed in the Place de la Concorde. It’s uniquely golden apex is actually a modern restoration, after the original tip broke off during its transportation to the site.