Saturday, July 12, 2014

Brazil: Christ the Redeemer Statue Crowning Rio's Corcovado Mountain Restored in Time for FIFA Final

According to EFE, the Christ the Redeemer statue that crowns Rio's Corcovado Mountain, under repair since February 2014 after being damaged by lightning, was presented completely restored on Friday (July 11), two days before Rio de Janeiro hosts the 2014 World Cup final between Argentina and Germany on Sunday (July 13).

To mark the blessed occasion, the Catholic archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Cardinal Orani João Tempesta, said Mass in the statue’s chapel and blessed the workers.

Corcovado, considered one of the present-day Seven Wonders of the World, had already been repaired on three other occasions and these latest works cost 1.9 million reais ($863,000), paid entirely by Italian tire-maker Pirelli.

Clezi Thadeu, an engineer charged with repairing the monument, told Efe that “the protection system has been improved” so that the figure of Christ the Redeemer will not be damaged by the next lightning bolts that strike the enormous statue.

COMMENT: The Rev. Omar Raposo, rector of the sanctuary located at the feet of the gigantic figure of Christ, said the government contributed no money for the repairs because “it is the church’s private property.”

In return for his financial contribution, Pirelli may use the image of Christ the Redeemer for corporate purposes for three years, though he must receive previous approval from the archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro.

More than 300,000 tourists have visited Corcovado to date during the World Cup, which began June 12.

A vote is being taken on Twitter with regard to the World Cup final on Sunday (July 13) in which users can choose whether the monument should be illuminated with Argentina’s colors or those of Germany during the game.