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Christ the Redeemer
Aerial view of the Statue of Christ the Redeemer.jpg
Coordinates 22°57′7″S 43°12′38″W / 22.95194°S 43.21056°W / -22.95194; -43.21056
Location Corcovado mountain,
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Designer Designed by sculptor Paul Landowski and built by engineer Heitor da Silva Costa in collaboration with Albert Caquot. Sculptor Gheorghe Leonida created the face
Material Soapstone
Width 28 metres (92 ft)
Height 30 metres (98 ft), 38 metres (125 ft) with its pedestal
Completion date Dedicated October 12, 1931
Consecrated October 12, 2006
New Seven Wonders of the World July 7, 2007
National Historic Heritage of Brazil
Designated: 2001
Reference #: 1478

Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with French engineer Albert Caquot. Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida fashioned the face. Constructed between 1922 and 1931, the statue is 30 metres (98 ft) high, excluding its 8-metre (26 ft) pedestal. The arms stretch 28 metres (92 ft) wide.

The statue weighs 635 metric tons (625 long, 700 short tons), and is located at the peak of the 700-metre (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro. A symbol of Christianity across the world, the statue has also become a cultural icon of both Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, and was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone.


A view of the Corcovado before the construction, 19th century
Estátua do Cristo Redentor nas cores da Bandeira do Brasil
Statue lit up in the colors of the Flag of Brazil

Vincentian priest Pedro Maria Boss first suggested placing a Christian monument on Mount Corcovado in the mid 1850s to honor Princess Isabel, regent of Brazil and the daughter of Emperor Pedro II, but the project was not approved. In 1889, the country became a republic, and due to the separation of church and state, the proposed statue was dismissed.

The Catholic Circle of Rio made a second proposal for a landmark statue on the mountain in 1920. The group organized an event called Semana do Monumento ("Monument Week") to attract donations and collect signatures to support the building of the statue. The organization was motivated by what they perceived as 'Godlessness' in the society. The donations came mostly from Brazilian Catholics. The designs considered for the "Statue of the Christ" included a representation of the Christian cross, a statue of Jesus with a globe in his hands, and a pedestal symbolizing the world. The statue of Christ the Redeemer with open arms, a symbol of peace, was chosen.

Local engineer Heitor da Silva Costa designed the statue. French sculptor Paul Landowski created the work.

In 1922, Landowski commissioned fellow Parisian Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida, who studied sculpture at the Fine Arts Conservatory in Bucharest and in Italy.

A group of engineers and technicians studied Landowski's submissions and felt building the structure of reinforced concrete (designed by Albert Caquot) instead of steel was more suitable for the cross-shaped statue. The concrete making up the base was supplied from Limhamn, Sweden. The outer layers are soapstone, chosen for its enduring qualities and ease of use. Construction took nine years, from 1922 to 1931 and cost the equivalent of US$250,000 (equivalent to $4,100,000 in 2022) and the monument opened on October 12, 1931. During the opening ceremony, the statue was to be lit by a battery of floodlights turned on remotely by Italian shortwave radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi, stationed 9,200 kilometres (5,700 mi) away in Rome but because of bad weather, the lights were activated on-site.

In October 2006, on the 75th anniversary of the statue's completion, Archbishop of Rio, Cardinal Eusebio Oscar Scheid, consecrated a chapel, named after Brazil's patron saint—Our Lady of the Apparition, under the statue, allowing Catholics to hold baptisms and weddings there.

Lightning struck the statue during a violent thunderstorm on February 10, 2008, causing some damage to the fingers, head and eyebrows. The Rio de Janeiro state government initiated a restoration effort to replace some of the outer soapstone layers and repair the lightning rods on the statue. Lightning damaged it again, on January 17, 2014, dislodging a finger on the right hand.

In 2010, a massive restoration of the statue began. Work included cleaning, replacing the mortar and soapstone on the exterior, restoring iron in the internal structure, and waterproofing the monument. Vandals attacked the statue during renovation, spraying paint along the arm. Mayor Eduardo Paes called the act "a crime against the nation". The culprits later apologized and presented themselves to the police.

In reference to Brazil striker Ronaldo's usual goal celebration of both arms outstretched, the Pirelli tyre company ran a 1998 commercial in which he replaced the statue while in an Inter Milan strip. The commercial was controversial with the Catholic Church.


Rio de Janeiro Helicoptero 47 Feb 2006
A panoramic view of the statue at the top of Corcovado Mountain with Sugarloaf Mountain (centre) and Guanabara Bay in the background.
Cristo Redentor iluminado
Christ the Redeemer at night as seen from Tijuca Forest
Trem do Corcovado na Estação Paineiras 01
Corcovado Rack Railway

In 1990, several organizations, including the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, media company Grupo Globo, oil company Shell do Brasil, environmental regulator IBAMA, National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage, and the city government of Rio de Janeiro entered an agreement to conduct restoration work.

More work on the statue and its environs was conducted in 2003 and early 2010. In 2003, a set of escalators, walkways, and elevators were installed to facilitate access to the platform surrounding the statue. The four-month restoration in 2010 focused on the statue itself. The statue's internal structure was renovated and its soapstone mosaic covering was restored by removing a crust of fungi and other microorganisms and repairing small cracks. The lightning rods located in the statue's head and arms were also repaired, and new lighting fixtures were installed at the foot of the statue.

The restoration involved one hundred people and used more than 60,000 pieces of stone taken from the same quarry as the original statue. During the unveiling of the restored statue, it was illuminated with green-and-yellow lighting in support of the Brazil national football team playing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Maintenance work needs to be conducted periodically due to the strong winds and erosion to which the statue is exposed, as well as lightning strikes. The original pale stone is no longer available in sufficient quantity, and replacement stones are increasingly darker in hue.

Similar structures

  • Christ the Protector in Encantado, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (43m)
  • Christ the Redeemer in Rio Verde, Goiás, Brazil
  • Christ in the Mount in Pitangui, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • Cristo del Otero in Palencia, Spain built in 1930 (21 m)
  • Cristo Rey (statue, Mexico) located on the Cerro del Cubilete in Guanajuato, Mexico, inspired by Rio's Christ the Redeemer (23 m)
  • Cristo Rey in Tenancingo, México, México (30 m)
  • Christ Blessing in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia (30 m)
  • Christ of Havana in Havana, Cuba, inspired by Christ the Redeemer (20 m)
  • Christ of the Abyss in various underwater locations
  • Christ of the Ozarks in Arkansas, United States, inspired by Rio's Christ the Redeemer (20 m)
  • Christ of Vũng Tàu in Vietnam (32 m)
  • Christ the King in Świebodzin, Poland (33 m)
  • Christ the Redeemer of the Andes (Argentina/Chile)
  • Christ the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Ibiza, Spain, inspired by Christ the Redeemer (23 m)
  • Cristo Blanco in Cusco, Peru
  • Cristo de la Concordia in Cochabamba, Bolivia (34 m)
  • Cristo de las Noas in Torreón, Mexico (22 m)
  • Cristo del Pacífico in Lima, Peru, erected in 2011 (37 m)
  • Patung Yesus Kristus in Mansinam Island, West Papua, Indonesia (30 m)
  • Cristo Redentore (Christ the Redeemer) of Maratea, Italy (21 m)
  • Cristo Rei (Christ the King) in Almada, Portugal (28 m)
  • Cristo Rei of Dili in Dili, Timor-Leste (27 m)
  • Cristo Rei, Madeira on Madeira island, completed in 1927 (15 m)
  • Cristo Rei in Lubango, Angola (14 m)
  • Statue of Cristo Luz in Balneário Camboriú, Santa Catarina, Brazil
  • Statue of Jesus Christ on the top of Sagrat Cor, Barcelona, Spain
  • Tas-Salvatur, Malta (12 m)
  • Statue of Jesus Christ, Monte Urgull, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain - 12 m
  • Jesus de Greatest in Imo, Nigeria, Africa's tallest statue of Jesus and fifth tallest statue on the continent (8.53 m)
  • Cristo del Picacho in Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Cristo Redentor, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
  • Christ The King Lebanon
  • Another imitation statue of Christ the Redeemer is at Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India.(Shrish Patil)
  • imitation at Kovalam, near Trivandrum, Kerala, India.
  • Imitation at Ecopark, Kolkata, India.
  • Christ the Redeemer of Malacca is on the Portuguese Settlement Square in Melaka, Malaysia (20' tall)
  • Cristo Rey in Colombia (26 m)
  • Cristo Rey by Urbici Soler in Sunland Park, New Mexico - (8.83 M)
  • Cristo Redentor (Barranca province, Lima, Peru)


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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Cristo Redentor para niños

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