Catholic Church to Upgrade Christ the Redeemer in Brazil

Christ the RedeemerThe Catholic Church has announced plans to raise 3.5 million dollars for a major upgrade of Christ the Redeemer, the iconic giant statue of Jesus with outstretched arms that overlooks Rio de Janeiro.

The 30-meter (98-foot) tall stone and cement Christ the Redeemer stands on an eight-meter high pedestal on top of Mount Corcovado, overlooking the metropolis of around 10 million people. The statue’s designer, Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, ceded all the rights to the monument to the Catholic Church. Paul Landowski, a French sculptor of Polish origin, sculpted the statue. It was inaugurated in 1931 after five years of work.

Archbishop Ornani Tempesta told reporters Wednesday that cleaning and repairing the 78 year-old statue will take four to six months.

Some of the money will be raised by selling small metal brooches of the statue, available for 4.30 dollars at any of Rio’s 252 parishes, Tempesta said. “It is a way to get to know Christ even better. We will carry him on our chest.”

Brazilian mining giant Vale will also pay for part of the project.

Christ the Redeemer was classified as a historic monument in 1973. Every year some 1.8 million visitors stop by to see the stature.

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