Christ the Redeemer (Portuguese: Cristo Redentor, standard Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈkɾistu ʁedẽˈtoʁ], local pronunciation: [ˈkɾiɕtŭ̻ xe̞dẽ̞ˈtoɦ]) is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with the French engineer Albert Caquot. Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida fashioned the face. Constructed between 1922 and 1931, the statue is 30 metres (98 ft) tall, excluding its 8-metre (26 ft) pedestal. The arms stretch 28 metres (92 ft) wide.
The statue weighs 635 metric tons (625 long, 700 short tons), and is located at the peak of the 700-metre (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro. A symbol of Christianity across the world, the statue has also become a cultural icon of both Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, and is listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone.
Vincentian priest, Pedro Maria Boss, first suggested placing a Christian monument on Mount Corcovado in the mid 1850s to honor Princess Isabel, princess regent of Brazil and the daughter of Emperor Pedro II, however the project died due to lack of support. In 1889 the country became a republic, and due to the separation of church and state, the idea of the statue was dismissed.
The Catholic Circle[clarification needed] of Rio made a second proposal for a landmark statue on the mountain in 1920.[better source needed] The group organized an event called Semana do Monumento („Monument Week“) to attract donations and collect signatures to support the building of the statue. What motivated the organization was what they perceived as ‚Godlessness‘ in the society at the time. The donations came mostly from Brazilian Catholics. The designs considered for the „Statue of the Christ“ included a representation of the Christian cross, a statue of Jesus with a globe in his hands, and a pedestal symbolizing the world. The statue of Christ the Redeemer with open arms, a symbol of peace, was chosen.
In 1922, Landowski commissioned fellow Parisian Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida, who studied sculpture at the Fine Arts Conservatory in Bucharest and in Italy. Leonida’s portrayal of Christ’s face made him famous.