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“The Spirit of America” Gibson Les Paul Guitar Is Now On Displayat Ellis Island July 14, 2010 – August 1, 2011 Grammy Award Winning Guitarist Duane Eddy Opened the Exhibit
A one of a kind custom designed Gibson Les Paul guitar was unveiled to the public on July 14th, 2010 for the first time since it’s creation at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. What makes this guitar so historically significant is that it is entirely hand crafted from artifacts preserved during the centennial restoration of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island. This meaningful instrument was commissioned by Gold Leaf Corporation, through an exclusive agreement with The Statue of Liberty–Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., and crafted at Gibson’s Custom & Historic Division in Nashville, TN. The entire body of the guitar is made from wood that was preserved from steps and doors of the historic Main Building at Ellis Island, the copper inlay and hardware of the Les Paul guitar were created from copper that was preserved from the Statue of Liberty National Monument. Gibson also created a beautiful display for the guitar from a section of an armature bar that was removed and preserved from the Statue of Liberty. The Liberty Les Paul is the second in a series of fifty independent works of art (representing the 50 states) that will be made from the artifacts and known as “Liberty Ambassadors”. The first work of art in the series was the Liberty Bike, which was featured on the Discovery Channel. “Utilizing the universal language of music, this beautiful example of instrumental art will always serve to inspire the unifying message of hope and freedom while celebrating the diversity of America,” said Rick Stocks, President of Gold Leaf Corporation. American guitar legend Duane Eddy helped dedicate this one-of-a-kind guitar. Eddy is a Grammy Award winner, and a member of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While Steve Briganti, President & CEO of The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. looked on, Duane Eddy and Superintendent of the National Park Service, Dave Luchsinger, took turns playing the guitar, and Duane Eddy delighted the crowd by playing a few bars of one of his signature hits “Rebel Rouser”. Duane Eddy then presented the guitar to the National Park Service, for placement in its impressive exhibit case. The guitar’s exhibit at Ellis Island marks the first time that this historic instrument has been placed on public display. “The Spirit of America” Gibson Les Paul is one of the most symbolic and meaningful guitars in the world. It will be on display at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum through August 1, 2011. Further information on the exhibit is available at www.ellisisland.org.