Sitting high above the city of Rio de Janeiro, Christ the Redeemer, is maybe one of the world’s most recognisable statues and has become emblematic not only for Rio de Janeiro but Brazil as a whole. As a predominantly catholic country a Vincentian priest asked the diocese if they would erect a catholic monument on top of Mount Corcovado, to pay homage to the then regent princess, Isabel. Although his idea was rejected, the seed was sown and in 1922 the diocese proposed building a statue of Christ to overlook the city. The president was petitioned and in April 1922 the first commemorative stone was laid. The original design of the statue can be attributed to Heitor da Silva Costa who had proposed Christ with a cross in one hand and the world in the other but it was Carlos Oswald that was credited for changing the design to the outstretched arms of Jesus Christ. The french sculptor Paul Landowski, was tasked to build the statue out of clay in France and then ship the pieces to Brazil.
The 30m tall statue with its 28m outstretched arms was completed on 12 October 1931 and stands proudly above the city, on top of the 710 m Mount Corcovado. To give it some extra height the statue also sits on a raised platform on top of an 8-metre pedestal. Built in reinforced concrete and then covered with millions of sandstone tiles from the nearby city of Ouro Preto. Oddly enough the delicate white sandstone tiles used in the original build are running out so with regular repair work a darker stone is being used which is making the statue darker as it ages. This glorious art deco statue is truly a sight to behold and it is no wonder that in 2007, it was declared one of the new 7 Wonders of the World.