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Claim: The United States is returning the Statue of Liberty to France.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, November 2013]
Any truth to this? I really don't think so, but you never know. President Obama is now prepared to order the immediate dismantling
of the statue for shipment back to France in early 2014.
Origins: In November 2013 the online version of the American Spectator published an opinion piece by Andrew B. Wilson that opened with a section describing the Obama administration's plans to dismantle the Statue of Liberty and ship it back to France:
This just in from the Obama White House: The Statue of Liberty, the colossal neoclassical statue on Liberty Island in the middle of New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric August Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886, as a gift to the United States from the people of France, will soon be toast.
Over the heated objections of Chuck Schumer and other leading Democrats, and against the languorous advice of Jean-François Kerry, his French-speaking Secretary of State, President Obama is now prepared to order the immediate dismantling of the statue for shipment back to France in early 2014.
"As far as I'm concerned," the president told a top aide, "they can take back the Eiffel Tower as well." Informed that the Eiffel Tower was actually in Paris, he shot back, "Whatever. Do you take me for some kind of idiot? My job is to do the policy. Your job is to take care of the details without wasting my time."
Links and excerpts referencing that article have since been circulated via social media, with many of those encountering it mistaking the information about the United States' sending the Statue of Liberty back to France for a genuine news report. However, that part of the editorial was not meant to be taken literally: rather, it was a farcical conceit employed by the author as a framework for his criticisms of President Obama.