Written by 11:13 AM Staff's Picks, Travel

Brazil’s Christ The Redeemer reopens after 5 months

Brazils’ major tourist attractions , i,e., Christ the Redeemer statue and the Sugarloaf Mountain  have reopened for tourists after remaining in lockdown for months due to the Coronavirus pandemic. These widely-visited tourist spots have opened with strict guidelines and restrictions in place, along with the number of visitors being limited there. 

The site for Christ the Redeemer reopened recently and has started welcoming visitors, as per its official management company. Also, tourist vans will be allowed to traverse the hill at half the capacity, whereas the tourist train is operating at a capacity of 25 per cent. 

Apart from this, similar precautions, such as temperature checks, and allowing fewer people inside the spots are being taken care of at spots that opened over the weekend. Reportedly, other tourist attractions that reopened this weekend are Sugarloaf Mountain, the AquaRio aquarium, and Rio Star Ferris wheel, as per the country’s official tourism campaign website. 

The statue, made of reinforced concrete clad in a mosaic of thousands of triangular soapstone tiles, sits on a square shaped pedestal base for about 26 feet (8 metres) high, which itself is situated on a deck atop the mountain’s summit. The statue is the largest Art- Deco style sculpture in the world.

Permission was granted, and the foundation stone of the base was ceremonially laid on April 4, 1922 to celebrate  the centennial on that day of Brazil’s independence from Portugal although the monument’s final design had not yet been chosen. That same year a competition was held to find a designer, and the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa was chosen on the basis of his sketches of a figure of Christ holding a a cross in his right hand and the world in his left. In collaboration with Brazilian artist Carlos Oswald, Silva Costa later ordered the plan.

Oswald has been credited with the idea for the figure’s standing pose with arms spread wide. The French sculptor Paul Landowski, who partnered with Silva Costa on the final design, has been credited as the primary designer of the figure’s head and hands. Funds were raised privately, principally by the church. Under Silva Costa’s supervision, construction began in 1926 and continued for five years. During that time materials and workers were transported to the summit via railway.

Referring to this, Brazil’s Environment Minister said that the reopening of the Christ monument symbolises the reopening of Brazil to tourism. Those visiting these sites will be required to mandatorily wear face masks and also maintain social distancing. Further, there are some who tend to lie on the ground to get that perfect angle of a photo at the feet of the huge art deco statue with its arms outstretched, the same has been prohibited for now.

Although Christ the Redeemer was not accessible all these months, it continued to function as a religious sanctuary during those times. It has been reported that members of the military were engaged in the process of the statue’s disinfection exercise ahead of its reopening. 

Further, chances are also dim for Rio’s famous carnival, and it is very likely that it will be cancelled in view of the pandemic. 

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