Christ of the Abyss

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Christ of the Abyss at San Fruttuoso, Liguria

Christ of the Abyss (Italian: Il Cristo degli Abissi) is a submerged bronze statue of Jesus Christ, the original of which is located in the Mediterranean Sea, off San Fruttuoso, between Camogli and Portofino on the Italian Riviera. Various other casts of the statue are located in other places worldwide, both underwater and in churches and museums.[citation needed]

Original clay statue[edit]

The harbour of San Fruttuoso

The original clay positive, minus the arms, was located in a foundry in 1993. The arms were later found and attached, but not the hands, which had to be replaced. The reconfigured clay sculpture is now on display at the National Museum of Underwater Activities in Ravenna, Italy.[1]

Three bronze statues[edit]

Italy (1954)[edit]

The original bronze statue was placed in the Mediterranean Sea on 22 August 1954, at approximately 17 metres depth, and stands c. 2.5 metres tall.[citation needed] It was sculpted by Guido Galletti, based on an idea of Italian diver Duilio Marcante. The statue was placed near the spot where Dario Gonzatti, the first Italian to use SCUBA gear, died in 1947.[citation needed] It depicts Christ offering a benediction of peace, with his head and hands raised skyward.

Due to increasing amounts of corrosion and the growth of crustaceans, the statue was removed from the water and restored in 2003. A hand that had been detached, presumably by an anchor, was also replaced.[2] The statue was returned to the water with a new base on 17 July 2004.[citation needed]

Grenada (1961)[edit]

A second bronze sculpture, cast from the same mold as the original bronze statue, exists off the coast of St. George's, Grenada. It was a gift of the navy of Genoa for assistance in rescuing the crew of the Italian vessel Bianca C, which was destroyed by fire in the port of St. George's. The sculpture was placed underwater on October 22, 1961.[citation needed]

U.S. (1962)[edit]

A third bronze statue, from the original mold, was presented to the Underwater Society of America in New York in 1962. On August 25, 1965, it was placed approximately in 25 feet of water off the coast of Key Largo, Florida, near Dry Rocks, approximately six miles east of Key Largo in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The statue weighs around 260 kg, and the concrete base to which it is attached weighs approximately 9 tons.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]

  • In Part 3 of the Netflix Original series Bloodline (Season 1, Episode 3), Danny Rayburn is seen taking guests at his family's Monroe County, Florida inn, Rayburn House, snorkeling at Christ of the Abyss in Florida.[3]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Wilkinson, Jerry. "Underwater Sculpture: Christ of the Deep". 
  2. ^ Wilkinson, Jerry. "Underwater Sculpture: Christ of the Deep". 
  3. ^ "Bloodline: “Part 3” Who is Sarah? (Season 1, Episode 3)". AV Club. March 22, 2015. 

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 44°18′58″N 9°10′30″E / 44.316°N 9.175°E / 44.316; 9.175