Rio’s “Christ the King” Struck by Lightning Again – UPDATED

Early this morning, Rio’s towering statue of Christ the Redeemer was struck by lightning.

The London Mirror has the photo, which was captured during a heavy storm along the coast of Brazil in the early hours of the morning.

This is not the first time the famed statue has been damaged during a thunderstorm.  In 2008, a lightning strike caused damage to the head and fingers, requiring restoration work.

The 100-foot statue has been called the tallest statue of Jesus in the world.  However, while it is arguably the most famous, it is not the tallest:

  • In October 2013, a 128-foot bronze statue titled “I have come to save the world” was installed on a mountaintop near the Syrian city of Saidnaya.  That new statue can reportedly be seen from Lebanon, Jordan and Israel.
  • And Georgian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, president of the Russian Academy of Art, is near completing a statue of Jesus which will measure 272 feet.  (The statue itself is 108 feet tall, and stands atop a 164-foot pedestal.)  Tsereteli hopes to find a home for his mammoth work in Russia.
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UPDATE:  Alas, the lightning that struck the Christ the Redeemer statue on Thursday, January 9, broke off a finger on the right hand.

Father Omar, rector of the shrine, has reported that lightning frequently hits the statue atop the Corcovado mountain.  The shrine is protected  by a lightning rod, but it doesn’t always do the trick.   Apparently, the hand had been damaged some time ago by an earlier storm; but last week’s dramatic lightning strike caused the finger to finally fall off.

The statue is scheduled to be refurbished next month; so the finger will be reattached and other repairs will be made at that time.

Click here for some fantastic photos of the storm.


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