Facts about Christ the Redeemer

There are plenty of interesting facts about Christ the Redeemer. For starters, this world-famous statue that overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro was recently designated as one of the new "Seven Wonders of the World." Also of considerable interest is the landmark’s size. The largest Art Deco statue on the face of the earth, Christ the Redeemer is 130 feet tall if you include the pedestal. In relation to width, no less than 98 feet separates the fingertips of the outreached hands. It’s impressive to say the least, especially when you also consider its location atop Corcovado Mountain.

Christ the Redeemer history sees work on the renowned statue beginning in 1922. It was supposed to be unveiled this same year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Brazilian independence, though wasn’t completed until 1931. The idea for such a monument to religion was actually first suggested in the 1850's, though nothing really came of it. In 1921, the idea arose once again, thanks to the Catholic Circle of Rio. This group raised money and collected signatures of people who supported the construction of such a major religious monument. The Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa was awarded the responsibility of designing the statue, while a French sculptor by the name of Paul Landowski was charged with sculpting it.

As for other interesting facts about Christ the Redeemer, it cost approximately $250,000 to build the famous statue. Since the original completion date in 1931, various restoration and maintenance projects have been carried out. One of these projects revolved around the installation of escalators and elevators, which help visitors access the viewing platform more easily. Because of the statue’s rather lofty position, the views from said platform are amazing–at least on clear days. Rio de Janeiro unfolds below, and it is possible to make out such attractions as Sugarloaf Mountain, Maracana Stadium, and the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana.

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