The Christ the Redeemer statue (known as Cristo Redentor in Portugese) is a famous statue of Jesus Christ, with arms outstretched, located in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. The statue is found at the top of the 700 metre high Corcovado mountain, which overlooks the city. The statue itself is 30 m (98 ft) tall with an additional 8 m (26 ft) pedestal and the arms stretch 28 m (92 ft). It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone and weighs an impressive 635 metric tons. It is a popular tourist attraction and has become a symbol for Brazil and Rio De Janeiro. It is also listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Let’s find out who designed this impressive statue.
Who designed Christ the Redeemer statue?
The Brazilian civil engineer Heitor da Silva Costa designed and constructed the Christ the Redeemer statue. The idea for the statue began long before Heitor da Silva Costa was born and it was first suggested in the mid 1850’s. However, the idea lost support and it wasn’t a viable alternative until 1920 when the Catholic Circle of Rio raised support and organized fundraising for the project. Some of the early ideas for the design were a Christian cross and a statue of Jesus with a globe, but the current version was chosen instead.
Who sculpted the statue?
The Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski did the sculpting work on the project and he was assisted by a number of people. There is some evidence that Landowsk also did the design work for the head and hands of the statue. The outer layers are soapstone, which is a material that is relatively easy to work with for such a large project.
Did you know?
The construction of the statue took 9 years and was complete in 1931 when it was officially opened on October 12. It cost about $250,000 (more than $3 million today) to complete the statue.
Upon opening the statue was meant to be lit by floodlights via a radio signal from Rome, but poor weather meant it had to be lit by locals!
The statue has been restored a number of times since construction. One of the recent restorations came after a lightning strike in 2008. The statue suffered damage to the fingers, head and eyebrows. After this occurred the damage and the lightning rods on the statue had to be repaired.