The Real Value of Statues Around the World
Millions of people visit them every day. Just a quick scroll through your Instagram feed will reveal at least a couple photographs of your friends standing next to or on top of them. They contribute massively to economies around the world and have priceless cultural value. What are we talking about? Statues, of course.
Yes, people really love statues and what they represent. But as any top metallurgist will tell you,
the value of metals is always on the mind. So how valuable are some of the most cherished statues around the world? Let’s take a look at what they might be worth if they were nothing but scrap metal.
She’s perhaps the most iconic and famous statue of all: America’s great lady, the Statue of Liberty, cost $250,000 when construction started in 1875. 31 tons of copper and 125 tons of steel went into building this beacon of hope, giving it an overall scrap metal value of $227,610. That sounds like a fairly reasonable price tag to us.
The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, Denmark offers even better value for money. Even though it’s only about 4 feet tall, the statue is the most visited attraction in the country, with over one million people stopping by each year. While it brings in lots of tourist money, it’s actual scrap metal value is only $1,485.
Not every statue comes with such an affordable price tag, though. The Guan Yu Statue in Jingzhou, China is worth $10,169,726. Over 4,000 bronze strips were used during the building process. That’s 1,320 tons of bronze, in case you were wondering.
If you thought that was a lot, you’ve heard nothing yet. There is a statue currently being built in Sadhu Bet, Gujarat, India that will use 6,173 tons steel and 24,802 tons of bronze. Scheduled for completion in 2018, this will be the world’s tallest statue. And it won’t come cheap, with building costs expected to reach over $460 million.
We haven’t stopped there. If you want to know the real value of more of the world’s most famous statues, take a closer look.
*All metal prices are as of September 2017
**Commodity prices for steel, copper and tin were based on Commodity Trading prices from tradingeconomics.com/commodities
***Bronze has been treated as an alloy of 88% copper and 12% tin, which is the composition of most modern bronze
****All USD currency conversions are as of 5 September 2017
Ahirwar, Sandeep. UltraXArt (2015). Statue of Unity. ultraxart.com
Atlas Obscura (2017). Genghis Khan Statue Complex. atlasobscura.com
Attractions in Malaysia (2012). Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur. kuala-lumpur.attractionsinmalaysia.com
Brand South Africa (2017). 18 facts about the 9 metre Mandela statue. brandsouthafrica.com
Danish Net (2017). The Little Mermaid. danishnet.com
eTawau (2014). Batu Caves. etawau.com
Evans, Owen. Fella (2016). Gigantic blade-wielding ‘God of War’ statue is the craziest thing you’ll see today. fella.com
Helmenstine, A. (2017), What is Bronze? Thoughtco.com
How Tall is the Statue of Liberty (2009). History of the Statue of Liberty.howtallisthestatueofliberty.org
Menneken Pis. Who is Manneken Pis? manneken-pis.be
National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War (2017). The Motherland Monument. warmuseum.kiev.ua
SA Venues (2017). Mandela’s Statue at the Union Buildings. sa-venues.com
Thomas, M. “Statue of Liberty.” Purdue University.
ThoughtCo (2017). What is Bronze? Definition, Composition and Properties. thoughtco.com
Trading Economics (2017). Commodity Prices, September 2017. tradingeconomics.com
Trading Economics (2017). Steel. tradingeconomics.com
Ukraine Kiev Tour (2017). Motherland Statue. ukraine-kiev-tour.com
The Valleys (2013). Guardian – Six Bells Mining Memorial. Thevalleys.co.uk