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Polish town erects huge Jesus statue

A 33-metre statue of Jesus has been erected in a small town in Poland and the local mayor claims it now stands taller than the famous one overlooking Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Poles are claiming their statue is now the largest in the world because the mound on which it rests extends the total height to 51 metres.

The statue is white and Jesus is depicted with outstretched arms. The gold crown rising above the western Polish plains in Swiebodzin is now competing with Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue.

Mayor of Swiebodzin Dariusz Bekisz insists it is now the world’s tallest.

Sylwester Zawadzki, the priest who made the statue, said it is 33 metres tall, one metre for each year that Jesus lived.

Others involved in the statue’s construction give different figures. One said it rises 51 metres if you include a mound it sits on and the crown on the head. By comparison, the statue in Rio is 38 metres tall.

The project faced numerous problems along the way. A sceptical bishop put the brakes on it at one point and state officials also suspended the project for some time, fearing the size made it unsafe.

More recently, an attempt to finally mount the figure had to be aborted because it turned out that the crane at hand was not powerful enough to lift the arms and shoulders – weighing 30t – onto the standing body.

A more powerful crane was obtained but further delays were caused by heavy winds.

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