Origin of Christ the Redeemer, on the Corcovado


Origin of Christ the Redeemer

The Corcovado, by its official name "Christ the Redeemer", is a monumental statue built at the top of the hill of Corcovado, in Rio de Janeiro. This statue had a turbulent construction and still today its paternity is not established, oscillating between Paul Landowski , the Frenchman who actually made the statue but never set foot in Brazil, and Heitor da Silva Costa, winner of the contest for his edification but who had to use the know-how of his contemporaries to achieve the result that we know.

But what is the origin of this statue? Why was it built?

The reasons of the construction

Well, actually it's quite simple, there's an official reason and an unofficial one.

The official reason was to celebrate the centenary of the Brazilian Republic. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of a republic, it was quite frequent and several countries at that time ordered monuments, some of which are still emblems of their countries: Statue of Liberty , in New York, was offered in the United States by France for the centenary of its independence. Similarly, the Eiffel Tower in Paris was built for the Universal Exhibition of 1889, the year of the centenary of the independence of France. However, a few years later, in 1922, Brazil would also celebrate its centenary. There seems to have been no notion of jealousy between France or the United States and Brazil over these memorials, but Brazil has also launched its assistance to build an emblematic monument. In 1921, a project was decided, and Brazil being a religious country, he accepted the proposal of the Church to erect a bronze statue at the top of the Sugar Loaf. But this decision was discussed, it did not suit everyone, because even before the republic of Brazil was official the separation of the Church and the State was already established. It was therefore astonishing that Brazil, a secular country in essence, approves of a purely religious project, but it is simply the strength of the Church that it has achieved its ends.

And this is the second reason for the construction of the statue of Rio: The evangelization of Brazil. But this reason could not be official, although it was widely known in the country at that time. Brazil being a Catholic country, everything had to be done to strengthen religion, not that it was in danger, but the Church's power was doing all it could to increase the religious fact in all public spheres. The possibility of building a monumental statue in one of the largest cities of the country was an opportunity not to be missed, and it was done: The winning project was Heitor da Silva Costa, it represented a Christ holding in one hand a globe and a cross.

See also:

History of Christ the Redeemer.

Description of Christ the Redeemer.

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