Peru bid for ‘world’s tallest Christ’ angers locals

2011-06-14 11:10

Lima – Peruvian President Alan Garcia’s plans to build the world’s tallest Christ statue here has angered local residents who fear the soaring monument will mar the city’s skyline.

Garcia, who told reporters he has personally donated $37 000 (R250 365) to finance the project, said the 37m statue is a “personal dream”.

“This figure can bless Peru and protect Lima,” he said about the project, which is also being funded by Brazilian companies.

Lima’s Mayor Susana Villaran has expressed dismay over the location of the statue on a hill overlooking Lima’s bay, which forms a 20km cove along the city’s western edge.

“I respect President Garcia, and I am a believer. But there is a thing called the integrity of the landscape of Lima’s bay,” she said, adding that the president should have consulted local authorities beforehand.

The statue’s proposed location on the Morro Solar hill also interferes with another historical site, said historian and archaeologist Guillermo Lumbreras.

“For years the Morro Solar has been undergoing a series of projects as a historical park. The hill is seen as a site where there was a battle in the war against Chile, and it should stay that way,” he said.

Villaran said she intends to speak with Garcia and push for other sites for the Christ statue.

The statue, which is to be inaugurated on June 29, is expected to surpass the 36m-tall Christ statue in Swiebodzin, Poland completed last November, currently the world’s tallest.

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