Repairs may darken Rio's iconic Christ statue

2014-02-02 22:55
(Felipe Dana, AP)

(Felipe Dana, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Rio de Janeiro - Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue, facing renovation after being struck by lightning last month, could take on a darker hue owing to a shortage of replacement stone, heritage officials said on Sunday.

The 38m statue, named in a 2007 global poll as one of seven new wonders of the world, lost a fingertip to a lightning bolt during a 22 January storm.

But the repair work has prompted concerns over a much bigger overhaul planned for the 85th anniversary of the monument, which coincides with the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The city's Archdiocese wants to refurbish its soapstone mosaic outer shell - but that means finding six million small tiles of the same kind of stone.

And a survey of current supplies ahead of the fingertip repair suggests there might not be enough of the original quarry stone used in the 1931 construction.

Demand for the original stone, which comes from the southern state of Minas Gerais, is high in colder climates, where it is popular for fireplaces.

"These stones are extremely rare in that they have a clear verdant water hue, which nowadays is hard to find," said a spokesperson for Brazil's national heritage institute Iphan.

"Remaining stone deposits are darker with a higher grade of talc, different from those used for the Christ [statue], which include other kinds of minerals and exceptional weather-resistant properties," Iphan explained.

Engineer-designer Heitor da Silva Costa selected the original stone for its resistance to extreme temperatures.

"We have sufficient stone for current restoration work - the concern is for later major work, such as for 2016," engineer Clezio Dutra told Rio daily O Dia.

The statue, created by Frenchman Paul Landowski, underwent a four-month $4m restoration four years ago to fix cracks and water damage.

Some two million tourists a year head up Mount Corcovado through Tijuca Forest by tram, by car or on foot to enjoy an unbeatable view across Guanabara Bay.

Read more on:    brazil

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Prince George the green prince?
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The full moon energy can be quite intense today as your emotions fight against reason. It is important to ground your ideas more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.