The torch-bearing arm of the Statue of Liberty stood in Madison Square Park for six years, from 1876 to 1882, after its display at the 1876 Philadelphia World's fair. The work, to be called Liberty Enlightening the World, wasn't finished. The arm was a fund-raising stunt: visitors could climb up to see the view from the torch. The project was dependent on contributions from both the French and American public: Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi showed her head in the Paris Exposition of 1878 to raise the money needed for the lady's copper body, which he completed in 1884. Americans were to finance the pedestal, but not until the lady was being unloaded in 1885 did enough money come in, helped by a newspaper publisher's campaign.
Neither the French nor the American government paid for the monument. Congress had turned down a funding request for the pedestal in 1883.