French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived at Liberty Island on Thursday to take part in a ceremony ahead of the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, in New York.

The statue was gifted to the United States by the French in 1886 as a symbol of American liberty. The statue was dedicated on Oct. 28, 1886, on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, becoming a milestone of friendship between the two countries and one of the most recognized landmarks in the U.S.

Sarkozy and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered remarks on Liberty Island to celebrate the 125 years of friendship between New York City and France during the event.

They were joined by leaders from Tribeca Enterprises including Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, Reuters reports.

As the statue will turn 125 on Oct. 28, 2011, here are the pictures from the event in anticipation of the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty: