I snapped this picture of the giant hand of Madame Tussaud on 42nd Street this weekend, a golden appendage which ominously dangles above her popular wax museum.
The massive amputation of a French woman reminded me of a similar disembodiment that occurred over 130 years ago. In 1876, in an effort to raise funds for its transport and display, the Statue of Liberty was displayed in Madison Square Park. Or rather, just her hand and right forearm with torch. The phantom appendage stood watch over the west side of the park for nearly six years.
And of course, this famous image of gaslight Madison Square, with Liberty’s arm to the right: