Garcia inaugurates “Christ of the Pacific”

Source: La Republica

President Alan Garcia  Wednesday inaugurated a 37-meter statue of Jesus Christ in Lima’s Chorrillos district overlooking the Pacific Ocean, despite criticism from local authorities.

During the inauguration, which included a fireworks display and attendance from members of Garcia’s governing Aprista party as well as Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani and other Church leaders, Garcia read passages from the Bible, according to daily La Republica.

Garcia called on Christ to “protect Peru in its path to harmony, reconciliation and prosperity by promoting well being and peace.” He added: “May Christ teach us that we are only humans.”

The “Cristo del Pacifico” – a replica of Christ the Redeemer on the Corcovado mountain overlooking Rio de Janeiro – cost around 5 million soles (more than $1.5 million) and is located on the Morro Solar in Chorrillos.

Funding for the statue came from corporate donations, including around $836,000 from the non-profit Odebrecht association for Sustainable Development and Conservation, of the giant Brazilian construction firm Norbert Odebrecht, and with 100,000 soles ($36,218) from President Alan Garcia’s personal savings.

The statue, made of fiberglass and polyester resin, will be highlighted at night with a play of 26 different colors of lights. Maintenance costs, to be covered by the Municipality of Chorrillos, will be approximately 30,000 soles per year.

Lima Mayor Susana Villaran criticized the project as Garcia did not consult with the municipality on the statue. Architects and historians have also criticized the statue due to its lack of originality, since it is a copy of the Christ figure above Rio de Janeiro. This past weekend, El Comercio published suggestions for private investment in a series of projects in Lima that included a recycling project, a cultural and applied arts center for downtown residents in a colonial building, and the restoration of archaeological and historical sites – all with donation tags of between $48,000 and $710,000.

The Morro Solar, the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the 1879-1883 war with Chile, was once solely reserved for an esplanade and statutes commemorating that battle.  However,  over the past 30 years the memorial has come to share the hill with an astronomical observatory, a small sanctuary to the Virgin Mary, dozens of radio, TV and private repeater antennas on the hill above it, and a large cross at the end closest to the sea. The cross was built by President Garcia during his first administration, for Pope John Paul II’s second visit to Peru in 1988. Despite the fact that its powerful lighting system virtually annulled any further scientific skywatching at the observatory, the cross was almost unanimously accepted and its rich symbolism lay in its materials, scrap metal from twisted electricity pylons blown up by Sendero insurgents.

Sharing is caring!

One Comment

  1. The secular society that we “enjoy” in Canada would never allowed such a tremendous witness of Christ!We don’t even have Christmas anymore as it is politically incorrect.It’s the winter season.It’s at the most Xmas.Less we offend our multicultral neighbours!Cheers to Alan Garcia,I’d welcome him to Canada!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *