Giant Jesus statue rises above Polish countryside

By Reuters Staff
November 5, 2010

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A statue of Jesus Christ that its builders say will be the largest in the world is fast rising from a Polish cabbage field and local officials hope it will become a beacon for tourists. The builders expect to attach the arms, head and crown to the robed torso in coming days, weather and cranes permitting, completing a project conceived by local Catholic priest Sylwester Zawadzki and paid for by private donations.

Standing on an artificial mound, the plaster and fiber glass statue will stand some 52 meters (57 yards) when completed, taller than the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer with outstretched arms that gazes over Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Polish officials say.

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“I’m happy because this project will bring publicity to our town, not only in Poland but also from the global media. Other countries are showing a lot of interest,” said Dariusz Bekisz, mayor of Swiebodzin, a town of about 21,000 people in western Poland some 100 km (60 miles) from the German border.

“The priest, Father Zawadzki, is a man of action who always, throughout his life, has built and created… In the future we’re going to have to think about bringing the carnival to Swiebodzin too, just as in Rio,” he joked.

Read the full story by Ewa Rejzler and Sam Harcourt here.

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(Photos: Jesus statue under construction in Swiebodzin, 4 Nov 2010/Kacper Pempel)

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