A head and outstretched arms were added this week to the Christ statue, which has been under construction since 2019 in the city of Encantado, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Completion of the monument is scheduled for late this year, according to the Association of the Friends of Christ, which is coordinating the work.
Brazil’s Christ the Protector
“It is a day for celebration, for devotion,” said Gilson Conzatti, a local councillor and son of Adroaldo Conzatti, the politician who conceived the idea.
The elder Conzatti, who was the city’s mayor, died in March from complications of COVID-19.
The statue, to be named Christ the Protector, will stand 43m tall, including its pedestal, making it one of the world’s tallest statues of Christ with outstretched arms.
It will measure 36m from hand to hand, and will have an interior elevator and an observation deck near the top.
Rio’s Christ the Redeemer
Christ the Redeemer, in comparison, measures 38m high, pedestal included, and spans 28m hand to hand. It will mark its 90th birthday this October.
Encantado, a city of 22,000, lies 145km northwest of the state capital Porto Alegre.
The project is intended both to inspire faith and encourage tourism to the area, its promoters say.
Father-and-son sculpting team
A father-and-son team of sculptors, Genesio and Markus Moura, are overseeing the work.
The project’s budget of 2 million reals (about R5.1 million) is being entirely financed through donations, according to the volunteer-based Association of the Friends of Christ.
The group is continuing to raise funds. Its website even features the raffle of a car.
— By © Agence France-Presse