No redemption for Rio Jesus statue copy proposed for London Olympics

February 1, 2012

(Primrose Hill in London,2 May 2009/Umexo Kamata)

It is a symbol of peace around the world, but the statue of Christ the Redeemer which stands high above Rio de Janeiro is causing an unholy rumpus in one of London’s most fashionable neighbourhoods ahead of this summer’s Olympics.

The Brazilian national tourist board is looking to erect a temporary replica of the 40-metre high art deco statue near the summit of Primrose Hill in north London as part of a package of promotional activities to mark the handover of the Olympic mantle from London 2012 to Rio 2016.

Some living in the London district, home to leading opposition Labour lawmakers, authors, actors and models, are in favour of a temporary statue in the area, with its panoramic views over the British capital, but others said they will fight it.

“It’s a very special place, it does not need any building on it. It’s not on,” said Friends of Primrose Hill Chairman Malcolm Kafetz. “Once you start letting one person advertise on it, everybody else will want to do it.”

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