A construction site in eastern Colombia is in the process of receiving its own personal Jesus — a massive Christ statue to rival the one of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Colombian media reported on Wednesday.
A large monument of Jesus is currently being delivered in pieces to Floridablanca, near Bucaramanga, Santander, and when finished, it will stand 131 feet tall, almost half of which consists of its pedestal, according to Colombia’s El Tiempo newspaper.
The Christ sculpture will be featured in a new park called “Ecoparque El Santisimo” (The Blessed Ecopark) in Floridablanca, and is set to open next year.
From a warehouse in the southwestern state of Belalcazar, pieces of the sculpture took 84 people eight hours to move it up to the Bucaramanga metropolitan area.
The sculpture has already made its presence known. During the delivery of four of the nine pieces, each four-ton piece paralyzed traffic as people stopped to take photos and videos of the coming of Christ.
The sculpture will take a total of two weeks to make its full pilgrimage to the park where it will be reconstructed. The last piece of the sculpture delivered will be the head, which will be helicoptered into the site.
Juan Jose Cobos, sculpture of the monument, explained that the creation of the monument took more than 20 people two years to develop. This includes the help of architects, sculptors, planners, and engineers.
“There were multiple processes for the Christ who is covered by an unsaturated polymer. Part of artistic modeling, many 3D laser scanned, cut with digital technology for casting mechanisms and structure coupled with a mechanical ‘skeleton’ which is almost a domestic building,” Cobos said.
The Christ monument will be surrounded by a new park and will be an ideal tourist attraction.
“The Ecopark will have a great place for events with capacity for 3,000 people, a cable car that will travel 1,380 meters [4,528 feet], a house with restaurant and museum, a conference room, shops, oratorio, and a mall with coffee,” said Carlos Fernando Sanchez, director of the National Park Chicamocha Corporation.
The budget and where it comes from
The State of Santander has invested $23 million into the park, of which $1.4 million was destined for the monument, according to El Tiempo.
The government allocated the $23 million to the Ecopark from oil royalties.
The funding and expectations of tourism has caused some controversy with councilors in Floridablanca after the project documents allegedly had certain irregularities in the expeditions and environmental licenses, according to the paper.