After two years of work, an enormous statue of Jesus Christ is standing tall in Brazil and is larger than the iconic Christ the Redeemer that overlooks Rio de Janeiro.
The first stage of construction on "Christ the Protector" was completed last month by sculptor Marcus Moura. The statue, which cost $350,000 to erect, towers over a hill near Encantado in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
It stands 143 feet high and has an elevator leading to a heart-shaped lookout point at the 112-foot mark.
Christ the Protector surpasses Christ the Redeemer built in 1931 out of reinforced concrete. That statue stands 124 feet tall on a 25-foot pedestal, and with an arm stretch of 91 feet.
The tourist complex around the base of the statue is still under construction and is scheduled to be finished early next year. Visitors will have to wait to experience the statue until then.
A park is also being built which will offer shops, restaurants, and viewpoints to visitors. The statue of Christ the Protector will be the main attraction.
When completed, it will be the world's third tallest Jesus statue. The Jesus Buntu Burake statue in Sulawesi, Indonesia stands at more than 172 feet tall, while Christ the King in Swiebodzin, Poland reaches a height of 172 feet.
Funding for the project was raised by the Associação Amigos de Cristo (Friends of Christ Association). According to the group's website, the statue is a work of faith, hope, and gratitude.
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