Christ of the Abyss

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Christ of the Abyss
Cristo degli abissi.jpg
Christ of the Abyss at San Fruttuoso, Liguria
ArtistGuido Galletti
Year1954 (1954)
LocationSan Fruttuoso, Liguria, Italy

Christ of the Abyss (Italian: Il Cristo degli Abissi) is a submerged bronze statue of Jesus Christ by Guido Galletti [it], the original cast 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, in underwater locations, churches and museums.[citation needed]

Original clay statue[edit]

The cove 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 (56 ft) depth, and stands 2.5 metres (8 ft) tall.[citation needed] It was sculpted by Guido Galletti, based on an idea of Italian diving instructor Duilio Marcante [it]. 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. The statue was subsequently dedicated to the memory of Marcante.[2]

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.[1] The statue was returned to the water with a new base on 17 July 2004.[citation needed] The statue was cleaned in 2018.[3]

Grenada (1961)[edit]

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

U.S. (1962)[edit]

Christ of the Abyss near Key Largo

A third bronze statue, from the original mold, was presented to the Underwater Society of America in New York in 1962, and shipped by boat to Chicago, where it was set up for unveiling in the ballroom of the Palmer House Hotel at the Underwater Society of America 1962 convention. On August 25, 1965, it was placed in approximately 25 feet (7.6 m) of water off the coast of Key Largo, Florida, near Dry Rocks, approximately six miles east of Key Largo in the National Marine Sanctuary, just outside of John Pennekamp 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]


  1. ^ a b Wilkinson, Jerry. "Underwater Sculpture: Christ of the Deep".[self-published source]
  2. ^ "cristo degli abissi". Fuori Genova (in Italian). City of Genoa.
  3. ^ Milano, Barbara (16 July 2018). "Il Cristo Degli Abissi Restaurato Dallo STAS". Ultima Voce (in Italian).
  4. ^ Kumari Upadhyaya, Kayla (March 22, 2015). "Bloodline: "Part 3" Who is Sarah? (Season 1, Episode 3)". AV Club.

Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 44°18′51″N 9°10′30″E / 44.314038°N 9.174979°E / 44.314038; 9.174979