Lightning chips a finger from Christ the Redeemer right hand
Christ the Redeemer, the iconic statue with its arms extended overlooking Rio de Janeiro in Brazil was struck by lightning damaging the statue's right hand thumb, making it lose one finger, according to officials from the Archdiocese of Rio, which manages the statue.
The statue, which is visited by nearly two million people every year underwent a 4 million restoration, the National Institute for Space Research told O Globo that the statue is struck by lightning on average between three and five times a year.
The storm which blazed across Rio's sky had one of the highest number of lightning strikes recorded in Brazil since the country began monitoring storms in 1999. The Christ of the Redeemer statue was inaugurated on 12 October 1931 on top of Rio's Corcovado Mountain and is considered the largest Art Deco-style sculpture in the world.
In 2007 it was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World The middle finger of the right hand was chipped during a storm last month.
The statue of Christ the Redeemer is 30 meters tall, excluding its 8 meters pedestal. The statue's arms stretch 28 meters wide. It weighs 635 tons and is located at the peak of the 700-metre Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city. A symbol of Brazilian Christianity, the statue has become an icon for Rio de Janeiro and Brazil.
Father Omar Raposo, head of the Redeemer sanctuary said the statue would be fully restored by early February. The statue has several lightning rods on the arms and head, and the Space Research Center said that on that night over 40.000 lightings and thunder could be seen and heard during the three hour long storm.