Christ the Redeemer (statue)
|Christ the Redeemer
|Location||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Height||30 metres (98 ft)|
|Completion date||Dedicated October 12, 1931|
|Consecrated October 12, 2006
New Seven Wonders of the World July 7, 2007
Christ the Redeemer (Portuguese: Cristo Redentor, standard Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈkɾistu ʁedẽˈtoʁ], local dialect: [ˈkɾiʃtu ɦedẽjˈtoɦ]) is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world. It is 30 metres (98 ft) tall, not including its 8 metres (26 ft) pedestal, and its arms stretch 28 metres (92 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. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed between 1922 and 1931.
The idea of building 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 1920 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, was chosen.
The face of the statue was created by the Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida, born in Galaţi, in 1892. He studied sculpture at the Fine Arts Conservatory in Bucharest, than he continued his studies for three years in Italy where he gained also a prize with his sculpture “Reveil” (the Dream). Gheorghe Leonida lived then in Paris where his work “Le Diable” (the Devil) was awarded the Grand Prize. Becoming famous in France as portraitist, he was included by Paul Landowsky in the team that started working at the gigantic statue from Rio de Janeiro in 1922. Gheorghe Leonida contributed to portraying Jesus Christ’s face, which made him famous.
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 ($3,300,000 in 2014). The monument was opened on October 12, 1931. The statue was meant to be lit by a battery of floodlights triggered remotely by shortwave radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi, stationed 5,700 miles (9,200 km) away in Rome, but poor weather affected the signal and it had to be lit by workers in Rio.
In October 2006, on the statue's 75th anniversary, Archbishop of Rio Cardinal Eusebio Oscar Scheid consecrated a chapel (named after the patron saint of Brazil—Nossa Senhora Aparecida, or "Our Lady of the Apparition,") under the statue. This allows Catholics to hold baptisms and weddings there.
The statue was struck by lightning during a violent electrical storm on Sunday, February 10, 2008, and suffered some damage on the fingers, head and eyebrows. A restoration effort was put in place by the Rio de Janeiro state government to replace some of the outer soapstone layers and repair the lightning rods installed on the statue. It was again damaged by lightning on Thursday, January 17, 2014, where a finger on the right hand was dislodged.
On April 15, 2010, graffiti was sprayed on the statue's head and right arm. Mayor Eduardo Paes called the act "a crime against the nation" and vowed to jail the vandals, even offering a reward of R$ 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.
In 1990, further restoration work was conducted through an agreement between the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, media company Rede Globo, oil company Shell do Brasil, environment regulator IBAMA, National Heritage Secretariat SPHAN and the city government of Rio de Janeiro.
More work on the statue and its environs was conducted in 2003 and early 2010. In 2003, a set of escalators, walkways, and elevators were installed to facilitate access to the platform surrounding the statue. The four-month restoration in 2010, carried out by mining company Vale in partnership with the Archdiocese, focused on the statue itself. The statue's internal structure was renovated and its soapstone mosaic covering was restored by removing a crust of fungi and other microorganisms and repairing small cracks. The lightning rods located in the statue’s head and arms were also repaired, and new lighting fixtures were installed at the foot of the statue.
The restoration involved one hundred people and used in excess of 60,000 pieces of stone taken from the same quarry as the original statue. During the unveiling of the restored statue, it was illuminated with green and yellow lighting in support of the Brazil national football team playing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Maintenance work needs to be conducted periodically due to the strong winds and erosion to which the statue is exposed, as well as lightning strikes.
In popular culture
Due to its status as a highly recognizable landmark associated with Rio and with Brazil generally, it has appeared in various popular cultural works:
- It is featured in the following video games
- Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X
- Driver 2
- Tropico 3
- Tropico 4
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
- Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword
- Civilization Revolution
- Civilization V
- Mass Effect 3
- Angry Birds Rio
- Gangstar Rio: City of Saints.
- The statue appears in level 3 (Rio) in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 for PlayStation 2.and Downhill Jam on Nintendo 64
- The video for Janet Jackson's "Runaway"
- The video for Michael Jackson's They Don't Care About Us
- The video for the Latin group Wisin & Yandel's "Pam Pam".
- 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 among the cacophony of screams.
- The statue watches over fictional "Verona Beach" in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet.
- The MTV show Viva La Bam
- The 2009 disaster film 2012, in which it crumbles after an earthquake.
- Mr. Magoo.
- The 2011 animated film Rio
- The live-action film Fast Five.
- The songs "Jesus of Rio" by the band Violent Femmes and "Cristo Redentor" by pianist Duke Pearson featured on trumpeter Donald Byrd's album A New Perspective (1963)
- The 2011 film The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.
- In the science fiction anime Legend of the Galactic Heroes the planet Heinessen has a giant monument to its founder in which he is posed in the same position as Jesus in the Redeemer statue.
- Karl Pilkington visits the statue on his travels whilst filming 'An Idiot Abroad'.
- Dynamo Magician Impossible performed a trick in front of it for his TV show.
- The video for Titanium from Dutch band Within Temptation.
- The 2012 documentary Planet Ocean.
- The 1942 Bette Davis film, Now, Voyager. Charlotte Vale remarks on it while on a cruise ship sailing into Rio harbor.
- The British television series Hustle, Season 6 Episode 2 "The Thieving Mistake", the statue is pictured in the opening sequence as the setting is in Rio de Janeiro
- The French film OSS 117: Lost in Rio
- Monumento al Divino Salvador del Mundo, Monument to the Savior of the World San Salvador City, El Salvador
- Cristo Redentore, Christ the Redeemer of Maratea, Italy
- Christ of Vung Tau in Vietnam (32 m)
- Christ Blessing in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia (30 m)
- Cristo-Rei in Lisbon, Portugal (28 m)
- Cristo Rei of Dili: a 27 metre high statue in Dili, Timor-Leste
- Cerro del Cubilete in Guanajuato, Mexico: a 23 metre high statue inspired by Christ the Redeemer
- Christ of the Ozarks in Arkansas, United States: a 20 metre high statue inspired by Christ the Redeemer
- Christ of Havana in Havana, Cuba: a 20 metre high statue inspired by Christ the Redeemer
- Christ the Redeemer of the Andes (Argentina/Chile)
- Cristo de la Concordia in Cochabamba, Bolivia
- Cristo de las Noas in Torreón, Mexico
- Christ of the Abyss in various underwater locations
- Christ the King (Polish: Pomnik Chrystusa Króla), 33 metres (108 ft) tall and weighing 440 tonnes, in Świebodzin, Poland
- Cristo del Pacífico, Lima, Peru, a 7 metre high statue erected in 2011.
- Christ the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Ibiza, Spain: a 23 metre high statue inspired by Christ the Redeemer.
- List of statues by height
- "The new Seven Wonders of the world". Hindustan Times. July 8, 2007. Retrieved July 11, 2007.
- "Christ the redeemer". TIME. October 26, 1931. Retrieved July 11, 2007.
- "Brazil: Crocovado mountain – Statue of Christ". Travel Channel. Retrieved July 7, 2007.
- "Sanctuary Status for Rio landmark". BBC. October 13, 2006. Retrieved July 7, 2007.
- "O Dia Online – Cristo Redentor".
- "Cristo Redentor – Histórico da Construção" (in Portuguese).
- Victor, Duilo. "Redentor, carioca até a alma" (in Portuguese). Jornal do Brasil. Retrieved July 17, 2008.
- Phil, Damon (June 29, 1983). "Vote now for Phoneheng". The Sun (London).
- Dima, Alina. "Gheorghe Leonida – Romanian contribution to “Cristo Redentor"".
- "Cristo Redentor vai passar por restauração até junho (Christ the Redeemer under restoration 'til June)". Estadão.
- Moratelli, Valmir. "Cristo Redentor, castigado por raios, passa por ampla reforma (Christ the Redeemer, punished by lightnings, go by ample refit)". Último Segundo.
- "Cristo Redentor renovado para 2010" (pdf). Rio de Janeiro Government. Dec 2010.
- "Lightning breaks finger off Rio's Christ". The Age, Melbourne, Australia. Jan 2014.
- "Vandals cover Rio's Christ statue with graffiti". Reuters. April 16, 2010.
- Tabak, Bernardo. "Estátua do Cristo Redentor é alvo de pichação". Globo.
- "Brazil's Christ statue returns after renovation". BBC News. July 1, 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Christ the Redeemer", YouTube video, accessed January 20, 2011.
- "Reforma no cartão-postal". Veja Rio. May 18, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cristo Redentor do Rio de Janeiro.|
- Official web site
- Map (Portuguese)
- Government bulletin about the statue's restoration (Portuguese)
- Poliakoff, Martyn. "Soapstone @ Cristo Redentor". The Periodic Table of Videos. University of Nottingham.