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Statue of Freedom and Philip Reid
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Atop the Dome of the U.S. Capitol stands a statue more than 19 feet tall, cast in bronze. Her name is Freedom. American artist Thomas Crawford sculpted Freedom from plaster at his studio in Rome, Italy. Crawford created three designs. The statue was shipped across the ocean in five pieces and assembled by an Italian craftsman for temporary display on the Capitol grounds. Then the pieces were to be taken apart and cast into bronze.The U.S. government hired Clark Mills, who owned a foundry in Washington, D.C., to make the bronze castings. A foundry is a factory where metal is melted for casting. However, the artist who assembled Freedom covered the seams between the five pieces in plaster, hiding them from view. He refused to take his work apart unless he received a pay raise. Only one man knew what to do. His name was Philip Reid.

U.S. History
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