Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil: Finger Broken Off by Lightning

January 17, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

The finger was broken off of the Christ the Redeemer (known as Cristo Redentor in Portugese) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from lightning strikes.

Father Omar, rector of the shrine that holds the statue, said that lightning frequently strikes the 98-foot high statue, which overlooks the Brazilian city from Mount Corcovado. It was placed on the 2,310-foot summit in 1931.

Omar said that the right hand had been damaged for some time, but the finger broke off during a storm on late Thursday, reported AFP citing the Globo radio station.

“They say lightning does not strike the same spot twice. But with the Christ it does,” the priest said with a smile.

A lightning rod and other equipment near by aim to capture the bolts but do not always succeed. 

Visitors are told to stay away during alternate weather.

“I have already endured the situation of being at the Christ at a time of rain and a lot of lightning, and it is scary. But we have a plan to quickly take all visitors away from there,” the priest said.

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

The statue will undergo another renovation next month.

The church has a stock of the same stone originally used to build the statue.

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