Monday, October 8, 2012

Bouchercon Hiatus #5

Bouchercon is over, but here on Murder is Everywhere Bouchercon Hiatus Week continues.

This is a reprise of the post I originally published on March 11, 2011, under the title
Icon - The Statue of Christ the Redeemer.

The first proposal to build a statue on the peak of Corcovado (the name means “hunchback” in Portuguese) goes all the way back to the mid-1850’s, but found no favor with the royal family of the time.

The second proposal, the one that ultimately resulted in what we have today, was made in 1921, by a group of religious laymen in Rio de Janeiro.

And it wasn’t a government project. It was financed by donations from Brazilian Catholics.

Initial proposals included a Christian cross and a statue of Jesus with a globe in his hands.

Construction of the winning design, in reinforced concrete covered with soapstone, took nine years and cost the equivalent of $3,000,000 in today’s U.S. dollars.

You can get there by tram...

...or by road.

Inside there’s a metal stairway that offers access to every part of the interior, and there are viewing ports in the hands and the head, but they’ve long been closed to the public because of the strong winds that blow almost constantly at that height.

The breadth of the statue from fingertip to fingertip is 28 Meters (92 feet).

The granite peak on which it is built, is 710 meters (2,329 ft) above sea level.
The statue and the pedestal add an additional 110 meters (361 feet).

Here’s the view you get from the base of the statue.

You can still spot the head and extended arms from a distance of more than 20 kilometers at sea.

O Cristo Redentor, as Brazilians call the statue, has become an icon, not only of the City in which it stands, but of all Brazil.

So much so, that my publishers have elected to use it on two different books as an "identifier" of the country in which the action takes place, even though neither book includes a single scene that takes place in Rio.

Here's how it looks on the cover of Soho's most recent book:

And how it looks on Karakter's (Dutch) version of Blood of the Wicked:

Leighton - Monday


  1. When we went to Brazil on our honeymoon, we went up by tram to see the statue... and it was so foggy that we struggled to even see the base. Apparently, that tends to happen a lot. Anyway, we were determined to see it (and the view from there), so we went up again a few days later, when it was much clearer. An unforgettable experience.

  2. Rio has the most gorgeous position of any city in the world. The statue looks great from the city, but looking at Rio, from the base of the statue, Literally stopped my breathing. Thanks for bringing me back. Makes me want to get on a plane and see it again fro real.

  3. Reminds me of staying briefly in Rio in a friend's apartment somewhere under the Christ's right arm, in 1979 I think.

  4. That first b&w picture is just breathtaking.

  5. I guess Corcovado is a much better site than the Blade Runneresque skyline of Sao Paolo or even Brasilia.
    What a spectactular view. Hope to make it there myself one day.