Christ the Redeemer was the subject of several controversies during its construction. The very first one concerned the type of statue, and it appeared shortly after the competition of the Catholic Circle during which the project of Silva Costa was chosen.
Controversies on the paternity of the statue
When he obtained the construction of the statue, the Church naturally protected the rights related to it through a public act. This document was signed by da Silva Costa on June 26, 1925. What it contained rejected the rights claimed by Paul Landowski, the sculptor, at least it was the opinion of the legal director of the archdiocese of Rio, Claudine Milione Dutra. Indeed Paul Landowski, French, claimed the legal rights of the image of Christ the Redeemer since he was the sculptor. It was in the second clause of the Act that the copyright of the project went to the Commission of the Monument of Christ the Redeemer, a commission united to deal with the future of the statue.
The following clause concerns the sculptor: "Paul Landowski had to cede his rights to the statue on pain of termination of the contract, but the moral rights of those who collaborated in the building are preserved, but other rights are assigned to the Archdiocese Christopher is the result of a team, Silva Costa is the author of the project and the builder, and the drawings are signed by the painter and engraver Carlos Oswald, the engineer Hector Levy was the master builder Pedro Fernandes Vianna da Silva, a churchman, was in charge of supervision. In 1924, with drawings, studies and hand-drawn models, Silva Costa went to Germany, Italy and France where he chose to hire Landowski Still in Paris, he chose Albert Caquot for the calculations of the structure, sculpted in full size by Landowski in France, the molds of the head and the hands were sent to Brazil in pieces.
Controversy with other religions
Despite criticism from Protestants and representatives of other religions, the Minister of Finance, Homero Baptista, authorized the project. But the attorney general of the Republic Rodrigo Otavio claimed that this statue was contrary to the Constitution. The monument building committee ordered legal advice from specialists to counteract this point. At the same time a petition was launched for the promotion of the monument, 20,000 signatures were recovered. Faced with the front of other religions, State representatives, through the book "Corcovado, the mountain of the conquest of God" by Joseph Scevola Semenovich, argued that "If a representative of another religion had asked for the construction of a" one of his symbols at the top of Corcovado, it would have been granted to him. "
The Catholics proceeding farther and faster in this project obtained permission to build in February 1922 and in October of the same year, the first stone was laid. This controversy was extinguished at that time.
Controversy of form
At the time of construction, in the 1920s, the proposed statue was a Christ holding in his right hand an earth globe and in his left a large cross. For the people, this Christ had become "the Christ with the balloon", an unflattering image in a country where football is close to a religion, including at that time. The most severe criticism came from Flex Ribetiro, a professor at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts. The latter wrote an article in the newspaper "El país" (an institution in Brazil) calling not to leave the statue as well. His anger subsided when Silva Costa was asked to redraw his work. It was now necessary that this statue should have a strong meaning, that it should be a symbol of Catholicism. It also had to be seen from afar.
Controversy for plagiarism
But once his new design was finished, the one owed to Carlos Oswald, it was necessary to register it at the National School of Fine Arts. And then, surprised, another difficulty arises. The committee in charge of examining the new form of the statue has not granted its registration to Silva Costa because one of the three members, Morales de Los Rios, accused him of plagiarism. He asserted that this new project was too inspired by the Christ of the Andes (opened in 1904 on the border between Argentina and Chile). The file was eventually given to another committee, which validated it anyway. time to the project.