Colombia to build world’s largest Christ statue

A wildlife-themed adventure park in central Colombia is planning to build the two largest statues of Jesus in the world by Easter 2013, local media reported Tuesday.

The entire project at Huila Africa, a safari-themed extreme sports and recreation center in the department of Huila, will consist of a crucifix-shaped church that will accomodate 500 people, an 80-meter (196.9 ft) sculpture of a crucified Christ which will lay on top of the church, and a 60-meter statue of Christ Redeemer.

The gigantic Son of God — almost twice as big as the Christ Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and even topping the current world’s highest in western Poland — will be designed, built and financed by park owner and engineer German Garrido. He hopes it will boost tourism in the region.

“It’s a monumental work for Catholics and we will have the world’s biggest Christ. The one in Rio de Janeiro is 32 meters and the one in Poland is 53,” said Garrido.

Whilst not gazing in awe at his Holiness(es), visitors to Huila Africa can partake in the park’s other activities, such as kayaking, ATVs, camping, horseback riding and paintball. After all, religion and extreme sports have always gone hand in hand…

Huila Africa’s spokeswoman, Maria Cenis says they are also constructing the monument so that Huila Africa “will become better known in the Huila department and throughout Colombia.”

Plans for the megalithic Jesus complex have been developing for the past year and a half, with the total cost of the project estimated at $5.7 million.

Huila’s tourism coordinator Gerardo Aldana believes that the monument will have a positive impact in the region in terms of tourism. “The hope is that initiatives like this one along with others in the department will attract tourists.”

Garrido has not committed to a fixed end date for the build, but aims to have all the Jesus’ up and running by Easter of 2013.

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