Statue of Liberty

Rabobank proudly presents Statue of Liberty, a collaboration with Spanish artist Fernando Sánchez Castillo and Galerie Tegenboschvanvreden. The five-meter-tall statue was unveiled to the public at Lowlands Festival, where it towered over the crowd in front of the Brasserie 2050 in Planet Paradise. Being part of the Rabo Art Collection, the impressive statue was placed in the entrance hall in the Utrecht head office.

As part of his research before creating Statue of Liberty, Sánchez Castillo looked into the significance of the statue and the icon's role in society. What deeper themes and meaning are revealed in the details of the most celebrated statue in the United States, and arguably the world? The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France to the American people commemorating the end of the Civil War. It was viewed by many as the most powerful symbol of freedom in the land of opportunity. The man who originated the idea of the Statue of Liberty was the Frenchman Édouard de Laboulaye, who was known to be strongly opposed to the institution of slavery in the United States.

During his research, Sánchez Castillo stumbled upon a relatively unknown historical rumour: the French artist who designed the Statue of Liberty, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, was believed to have initially created a design of a Lady Liberty as a person of colour. The notion that this rumour might well be true inspired Sánchez Castillo to develop his own version of the statue. Seeking to find a balance between the narratives and intentions of the past and the present, the artist made some changes to the original design – changes that are as subtle as they are radical. The massive size of the statue obviously also has an impact on how it is perceived.

It has never been my goal to give answers or make a statement. I use powerful iconic images to ask questions

Fernando Sánchez Castillo, 2018

Rabobank sees art as a barometer of society, which is why the Art Department collects and supports artists who are the driving forces of their era. Especially in dynamic and chaotic times, it is important to listen to voices that speak a different message.

With his work, Fernando Sánchez Castillo places public icons in a different perspective, raising questions about their role and function in our contemporary society. With his version of the Statue of Liberty, he uses historical references, but also sparks a debate about global issues and concepts such as freedom, power and equality.

If you have any questions about the artist or Statue of Liberty, please contact the Rabobank Art Department at

Photo: Tanja Kliphuis


Rabo Art Collection

Postal Address UC 075
P.O. Box 17100
3500 HG Utrecht
The Netherlands