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Christ the Redeemer

Corcovado

Corcovado

Christ the Redeemer is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world and the 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world. It is 39.6 metres (130 ft) tall, including its 9.5 metres (31 ft) pedestal, and 30 metres (98 ft) wide. It weighs 635 tonnes (625 long,700 short tons), and is located at the peak of the 700-metre (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city. A symbol of Brazilian Christianity, the statue has become an icon for Rio de Janeiro and Brazil.[1] It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed between 1922 and 1931.

The ideas for erecting a large statue atop Corcovado was first suggested in the mid-1850s, when Catholic priest Pedro Maria Boss requested financing from Princess Isabel to build a large religious monument. Princess Isabel did not think much of the idea and it was dismissed in 1889, when Brazil became a republic with laws mandating the separation of church and state.The second proposal for a landmark statue on the mountain was made in 1921 by the Catholic Circle of Rio. The group organized an event called Semana do Monumento ("Monument Week") to attract donations and collect signatures to support the building of the statue. The donations came mostly from Brazilian Catholics.The designs considered for the "Statue of the Christ" included a representation of the Christian cross, a statue of Jesus with a globe in his hands, and a pedestal symbolizing the world. The statue of Christ the Redeemer with open arms, a symbol of peace,and was chosen.

Corcovado

Corcovado

Local engineer Heitor da Silva Costa designed the statue; it was sculpted by French sculptor Paul Landowski.A group of engineers and technicians studied Landowski's submissions and the decision was made to build the structure out of reinforced concrete (designed by Albert Caquot) instead of steel, more suitable for the cross-shaped statue. The outer layers are soapstone, chosen for its enduring qualities and ease of use. Construction took nine years, from 1922 to 1931 and cost the equivalent of US$250,000 ($3,068,097 in 2012). The monument was opened on October 12, 1931. The statue was meant to be lit by a battery of floodlights triggered remotely by shortwave radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi, stationed 5,700 miles (9,200 km) away in Rome, but poor weather affected the signal and it had to be lit by workers in Rio.

In October 2006, on the statue's 75th anniversary, Archbishop of Rio Cardinal Eusebio Oscar Scheid consecrated a chapel (named after the patron saint of Brazil-Nossa Senhora Aparecida, or "Our Lady of the Apparition,") under the statue. This allows Catholics to hold baptisms and weddings there.

The statue was struck by lightning during a violent electrical storm on Sunday, February 10, 2008 and suffered some damage on the fingers, head and eyebrows. A restoration effort was put in place by the Rio de Janeiro state government and archdiocese to replace some of the outer soapstone layers and repair the lightning rods installed on the statue.

Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer

On April 15, 2010 graffiti was sprayed on the statue's head and right arm. Mayor Eduardo Paes called the act "a crime against the nation" and vowed to jail the vandals, even offering a reward of R$ 10,000 for any information that might lead to an arrest.The Military Police eventually identified house painter Paulo Souza dos Santos as the suspect of the act of vandalism.

A World Wonder

On July 7, 2007, in Lisbon (Estadio da Luz), Christ the Redeemer was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a list compiled by the Swiss-based The New Open World Corporation. Leading corporate sponsors, including Banco Bradesco and Rede Globo, had lobbied to have the statue voted into the top seven.

Portrayal in Media

Christ the Redeemer is featured in various works of fiction and media. The statue was featured in a major destruction scene in the movie 2012, when its arms collapse, and the rest of the statue fails at the knees and crumbles as it collides with the side of the mountain. This scene was highly controversial, especially when it was featured in a billboard campaign in Los Angeles, when Brazilian Multimedia Designer Sara Vieira spoke out against it. It is featured in the videogames Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X, Driver 2, Tropico 3, Terranigma, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, OSS 117: Lost in Rio, Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword, Civilization Revolution, Civilization V and "Angry Birds Rio". It briefly appears in the bonus level of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 on PlayStation.

Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer

It can be seen in the video for Janet Jackson's, "Runaway" and in the video for the Latin group Wisin & Yandel's "Pam Pam" video. The statue is also found in an episode of the Lupin the Third anime series. In the remake of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the statue is seen overlooking the city amongst the cacophony of screams. The statue watches over fictional "Verona Beach" in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. It is also shown on the MTV show Viva La Bam in which Bam Margera battled Don Vito to win $1,000. It is also in Mr. Magoo. A parody of the statue is also seen in World of Warcraft on an island called Janerio's Point, the statue was damaged in the Cataclysm revealing a heart filled with riches. It has also been featured in the 2011 animated film Rio and the live-action film Fast Five which had a major part based in Rio de Janeiro. In the science fiction anime Legend of the Galactic Heroes the planet Heinessen, capitol of the Free Planets Alliance, has a giant monument to its founder Arle Heinessen in which Heinessen is posed in the same position as Jesus in the Redeemer statue. The statue is seen in the movie "The Twilight Saga: New Moon", in the background, when Edward calls Bella's home and Jacob answers the phone. The statue is also briefly shown in the trailer for "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn" as the location of Edward & Bella's honeymoon.

Links:Christ the Redeemer Official Website

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