Facelift for Rio statue

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The statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, considered one of the seven new wonders of the world that receives annually 1.8m visitors annually is now undergoing a facelift, according to Brazilian Catholic Church sources.

Renovations of the 40 meters high statue on the summit of the Corcovado hill (700 meters above sea level), an iconic sight in the heart of Rio, will cost $3. 8m and take until June 2010 to complete. The statue will still be accessible during the works, although it will be shrouded in transparent safety sheeting to prevent injuries from falling objects. Workers will repair the mosaic on its pedestal clean humidity stains and remove scratches on the 78–year–old (1931) monument. The porous stone of which the monument is built is vulnerable to modern pollution. In January 2010, the Brazilian Catholic Church launched a charity campaign to finance the facelift that will also receive support from private companies involved in the works. The Rio archdioceses and the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism completed emergency repairs in 2009 totalling almost $1m. Previously in 2002, three panoramic lifts and mechanical stairs were incorporated as an alternative to the 220 steps of the 30 meters high statue that stands on an 8 meters pedestal. The statue of Christ Redeemer in the Tijuca Park was chosen in 2007 as one of the seven new wonders of the world.

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