"Small garden sculpture" turns into something, well, larger

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Monday 15, November 2010 | Category:  

Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer will soon lose its title as the world’s largest statue

Statue
RAISING OF head on Swiebodzin statue

of Christ. At the end of November, Divine Mercy Parish in Swiebodzin, Poland will dedicate the world’s largest statue of Christ in what Poland's Zielona Gora-Gorzow diocesan spokesman Father Adrzek Sapieha describes as a “show of devotion” by local Catholics.

The statue in Swiebodzin stands on a 52-foot-high mound. It is

118 feet tall, topped by a 11-foot-tall crown of thorns, has an arm span of 79 feet, and weighs nearly 363 tons. The statue will be just taller than Christ the Redeemer, which stands at 128 feet tall.

"The fact that the biggest Christ figure in the world is being set up here shows the strength of Polish belief and will encourage Catholics to have trust in Christ and renew their faith," Sapieha said.

In Swiebodzin, after strong winds caused delays earlier last Saturday, cranes first lifted the outstretched arms onto the body, then the head, complete with gilded steel crown, was lowered onto the shoulders.

The priest behind the statue’s planning, Sylwester Zawadzki, now retired, is said to have initially decided upon "a small garden sculpture," but his ambitions grew into a project he hoped would make his economically depressed village a magnet for Catholic pilgrims from across Poland.

Instead, he split the country. Some supported him, but others thought his project ridiculous, and many Catholics called for the statue to be abandoned. Ridiculous or not, it is set to be unveiled later this month.


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

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