Towering 2,310 feet above the city of Rio, the Christ the Redeemer statue is the fourth largest statue of Jesus Christ in the world and the largest Art Deco-style sculpture on the planet. It has become a global symbol of Christianity that attracts millions of believers and non-believers to the top of Mount Corcovado every year.
Sitting atop Corcovado Mountain and overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro, it is a statue known around the world. Cristo Redentor is the local name for Rio’s statue of Jesus Christ, although English-speakers call it the Christ Redeemer statue or Christ, the Redeemer. The statue stands at a whopping 98 feet (or 30 metres) tall and its outstretched arms reach to 92 feet (or 28 metres) horizontally.
In the 1850s the Vincentian priest Pedro Maria Boss suggested placing a Christian monument on Mount Corcovado to honour Isabel, princess regent of Brazil and the daughter of Emperor Pedro II, although the project was never approved. In 1921 the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro proposed that a statue of Christ be built on the 2,310-foot (704-metre) summit, which, because of its commanding height, would make it visible from anywhere in Rio.
The statue was created by Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with the French engineer Albert Caquot. The face was created by the Romanian artist Gheorghe Leonida. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed between 1922 and 1931.
In 2006, to mark the statue’s 75th anniversary, a chapel at its base was consecrated to Our Lady of Aparecida, the patron saint of Brazil.
In 2007 the statue was deemed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.