Rio de Janeiro | The statue of Christ the Redeemer celebrates its 90th anniversary

(Rio de Janeiro) The famous statue of Christ the Redeemer, which dominates Rio de Janeiro, celebrated its 90th birthday on Tuesday with a mass, the launch of a samba song and a cuvée of cachaça, the brandy Brazilian.

The religious ceremony, initially planned at the foot of the huge statue, eventually took place at the Metropolitan Cathedral in central Rio due to bad weather.

“We Cariocas (name of the people of Rio) are used to looking to Christ who is often hidden in the clouds, but we know he is there,” said the city’s archbishop, Orani Tempesta, during the mass attended by the mayor, Eduardo Paes.

“We are still going through the pandemic, but with an optimistic outlook thanks to the vaccination. The dark clouds of last year are dissipating, ”added the prelate.

More than 58% of the nearly seven million inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro are vaccinated against COVID-19, which has claimed 600,000 people in Brazil since the start of the pandemic.

Before the outbreak of COVID-19, the 38-meter statue, located atop Corcovado Hill, received nearly two million visitors a year. It was closed between March and August 2020. You must now present a vaccination certificate to access it.

On the occasion of his 90e anniversary, the immense art deco statue was the subject of a restoration program, in particular its coating.

A samba titled Alma carioca, Cristo redentor (Carioca Soul, Christ the Redeemer) was launched for the occasion, as well as a vintage of cachaça where the image of the famous statue appears on the label of the bottles.

In 1921, the Catholic Church organized a competition for the construction of a religious monument on the occasion of the centenary of the independence of Brazil (1822). Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa won the competition and devoted ten years to the project. The statue was executed by the French Paul Landowski.

The monument was inaugurated on October 12, 1931. In 1973, it was declared a Historic Monument and classified in 2007 among the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

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