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21 January 2014

Rio's Famous Christ the Redeemer Statue Keeps Losing Its Fingers

Lightning bolts strike through the sky near Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Thursday night.

The only problem with being a 100-foot-tall statue on a mountaintop is the lightning. The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, which overlooks Rio de Janeiro, has suffered two fingers chipped over the past few weeks after being struck by lightning.

Last month, the world's largest Art Deco statue lost part of its right middle finger in a storm. Yesterday, Father Omar Raposo, who serves as rector at the shrine, announced that one of Jesus' thumbs had been damaged on Thursday.

They say lightning does not strike the same spot twice. But with the Christ it does, he said.

Completed in 1931, Christ the Redeemer is the youngest member on the list of the "New Seven Wonders of the World," a voter-driven tourism initiative in 2007 that was deemed "the largest poll on record." Over the years, the statue has undergone its share of renovations to repair the facade, fix cracks, and remove political graffiti. In addition to making cameos in countless movies, Christ the Redeemer was used extensively in the publicity materials for Brazil's 2016 Olympic bid. When the bid was secured, the Olympic flag was ceremonially flown beside the statue.

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