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Saturday 23 August 2014

Is this the world's toughest DIY job? Workers repair lightning damage on Rio's Christ statue

Repairs have begun on Brazil's Christ the Redeemer statue

Published 22/01/2014 | 16:03

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THE iconic statue of Christ overlooking Rio de Janeiro was struck again last week during a violent storm, damaging its right thumb.

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The middle finger of the right hand and a spot on its head had also been chipped during a storm last month. It is often hit by lightning because of its position atop a steep mountain.

Officials say they will place more lightning rods on the statue in an effort to prevent future damage. It remains open to tourists while work is carried out, which is expected to take approximately four months.

The monument was built between 1922 and 1931 atop the Corcovado mountain and is considered to be the largest Art Deco style statue in the world.

It underwent a $4 million renovation in 2010 to repair badly eroded parts of its face and hands.

The statue also suffered damage in April 2010 when the arms head and chest were covered in spray painted graffiti, in an act Rio's mayor described as a "crime against the nation." The perpetrators used the scaffolding erected during the renovation to scale the statue and vandalise it.

Repair workers examine the Christ Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. The famed statue is being examined after two fingers and the head were chipped during recent lightning storms. Officials say theyll place more lightning rods on the statue in an effort to prevent future damage. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Repair workers examine the Christ Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. The famed statue is being examined after two fingers and the head were chipped during recent lightning storms. Officials say theyll place more lightning rods on the statue in an effort to prevent future damage. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
A worker inspects the Christ the Redeemer statue which was damaged during lightning storms in Rio de Janeiro January 21, 2014. Lightning strikes damaged the iconic figure's head and its right hand. The statue was hit on January 17 when a powerful electric storm swept through the city emitting more than 40,000 lightning strikes throughout the state of Rio de Janeiro.  REUTERS/Severino Silva/Agencia O Dia (BRAZIL - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION TRAVEL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
A worker inspects the Christ the Redeemer statue which was damaged during lightning storms in Rio de Janeiro January 21, 2014. Lightning strikes damaged the iconic figure's head and its right hand. The statue was hit on January 17 when a powerful electric storm swept through the city emitting more than 40,000 lightning strikes throughout the state of Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Severino Silva/Agencia O Dia (BRAZIL - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION TRAVEL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

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