Rio's Christ comes to life

2010-10-21 22:13

Rio de Janeiro - The iconic Christ statue that towers over Rio de Janeiro came to life overnight on Wednesday, appearing to open and close its arms in part of a government campaign against child sex abuse.

The special effect projected onto Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue was achieved with the aid of eight computers and was conceived by Brazilian film maker Fernando Salis.

It is part of a nationwide campaign being carried out under the banner "real tenderness," to help fight paedophilia and the sexual trafficking of children.

Each time 500 internet users click on the website, the Christ statue will once again appear to open its massive arms.

The timing of the campaign is auspicious, coming as Rio prepares to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the first ever held in South America.

The city will also host, along with several other Brazilian cities, football's 2014 World Cup.

The trafficking of children is a particular concern for activists engaged in the fight against sex tourism, who worry that the arrival here of millions of visitors for sports events could put more Brazilian children at risk.

The landmark Christ statue, the most identifiable symbol of Rio, was created by Frenchman Paul Landowski and has loomed over the city for nearly 80 years.