Cristo Rei of Dili
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|Cristo Rei of Dili|
Cristo Rei of Dili atop a summit overlooking the capitol of East Timor
|Nearest city||Dili, East Timor|
Cristo Rei of Dili (Christ the King of Dili) is an 88.6-foot-high (27.0 m) statue of Jesus located atop a globe in Dili, East Timor. The statue was designed by Mochamad Syailillah, who is better known as Bolil. The statue was officially unveiled by Suharto in 1996 as gift from the Indonesian government to the people of East Timor, which was at the time still a province. The statue is one of the main tourist attractions in East Timor.
The idea of raising the Cristo Rei statue was proposed by the East Timor governor José Abilio Osorio Soares to President Suharto. It was intended as a present for the 20th anniversary of East Timor's integration into Indonesia.
Suharto appointed the director of national airline Garuda Indonesia to lead the project. Garuda was given the responsibility to find capital for funding the project, and raised 1.1 billion rupiah (US$ 123,000). However, that was not sufficient to erect the statue, and contributions from East Timorese civil servants and businessmen were needed to complete the project, which eventually cost more than 5 billion rupiah (US$ 559,000).
It took almost a year of working to create the body of the statue, which was fabricated by 30 workers in Sukaraja, Bandung. It was made of 27 separate copper sections, which were then loaded onto three trailers and shipped to Dili. Reconstruction of the statue, including the globe and a 10-meter-high cross, took three months.
It was unveiled on 15 October 1996. Roman Catholic bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, together with President Suharto and East Timor Governor José Abilio Osorio Soares, directly witnessed the revelation of this statue from the air using a helicopter.
- Cox, Christopher, Tourism in Timor? Travel & Leisure, March 2004
Media related to Cristo Rei of Dili at Wikimedia Commons