Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, It is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable monuments in the world. It is 30 meters high, plus 8 for the base.
The history behind the creation of Christ the Redeemer dated back to 1889, when the creation of the Brazilian republic separated the church and the state. There arose the fear of increasing ‘godlessness’ in the country.
The proposal to build the large religious monument was first presented in the 1850s by a Catholic priest Pedro Maria. The request for funding was not approved because Princess Isabel did not support this idea. The request was officially refused in 1889 when Brazil mandated the separation of church and state. But a petition launched by a group in the 1920s, called the Catholic Circle of Rio, was a success. Construction therefore began in 1922 and took nine years to complete.
Hence, the need to design the statue atop Mount Corcovado, overlooking the city.
In 1920, Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa was selected to design the statue and was created by French sculptor Paul Landowski.
The original design of the statue was different to what we see today. It was intended for Christ to be holding a globe in one hand and a cross in the other, rather than two open arms.
Christ the Redeemer was built using reinforced concrete and has an outer shell of 6 million soapstone tiles. It’s believed that the workers who made these tiles occasionally wrote notes on the back, meaning this iconic landmark is full of hidden messages.
The project cost in 1931 was about $ 250,000, which it’s equivalent today would be roughly $ 3.2 million. In 2008, the statue suffered severe damage to the head, eyebrows and fingers caused by a lightning strike.
In 2003, Escalator was added to allow the disabled to gain access to the platform that surrounds statue. It was declared one of the seven wonders in July, 2007.
Source: Wonders of the world