A part from being a potent symbol of Christianity, the statue of Christ the Redeemer has become an icon of Rio de Janeiro. The open arms are seen by many as a testament to the warmth of the Brazilian people.
The idea for erecting a large statue atop Corcovado had been around since the mid 1850s. However the proposal was soon rejected. In 1921, another proposal was made. The designs considered for the “Statue of the Christ”.
The statue was designed by a French monumental sculptor Paul Landowsky and the construction was overseen by local engineer Heitor d’Silva Costa.The decision was made to build the structure out of reinforced concrete instead of steel, more suitable for the cross-shaped structure.
Costa and Landowsky decided to make the outer layers of the statue out of soapstone, be-cause of its malleability and good resistance to extreme weather. The monument was inaugurated on October 12, 1931, by President Getulio Vargas in a large, lavish ceremony.
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