Rome Newsroom, Mar 31, 2021 / 13:00 pm
The massive Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is undergoing restoration ahead of its 90th anniversary this year.
Standing at nearly 100 feet tall, the statue of Jesus is numbered among the contemporary “Seven Wonders of the World.”
The statue was illuminated for the first time on Oct. 12, 1931, the Feast of Our Lady of Aparecida, Patroness of Brazil.
Brazil’s Catholic population -- the largest of any country in the world -- funded its construction with donations from parishes across the country.
The monument officially became a sanctuary for Catholic worship on the same feast day in 2006. The chapel at the base of the statue offers Mass and Eucharistic adoration to the thousands of pilgrims and tourists who usually visit each year.
Architect Cristina Ventura is in charge of the Christ the Redeemer statue’s restoration this year. Her team will conduct a complete X-ray of the statue, which was constructed with thousands of small triangular hand-cut stones, to identify areas in most need of repair after exposure to the elements.
She told local media: “To be here is important, it is a very strong symbol. Christ the Redeemer embraces the Brazilian population so it is a responsibility, a great privilege, to be there.”
The statue took nine years to construct, from 1922 to 1931. A large heart is molded in the interior of the statue to signify the Sacred Heart of Jesus.