Monday, July 14, 2014

Germany wins World Cup - a New Star emerges - Christ the Redeemer


A great soccer game decided the World Cup with the superior precision and physical stamina of Germany finally winning out in overtime.  Argentina had several chances to score and take the lead but exhaustion was evident after the grueling World Cup series.

My suggestion that FIFA allow unlimited substitution and perhaps add a few more players to the roster would go a long ways toward improving the speed and increasing the scoring in football since the entire game strategy right now is to be tied at the end of the match and win in overtime or kickoffs.

So many games in the final rounds ended this way a rule change might make it a lot more interesting to fans and certainly will eliminate the need for the Broadway theatrics of faking injuries to rest or try to trick the umpires into a penalty, either of which is downright unethical and hypocritical.

But in the end the true new superstar was none other than the amazing statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking the stadium for the finals.  Here is the story on the star.

Christ the Redeemer, Portuguese Cristo Redentor,  colossal statue of Jesus Christ at the summit of Mount Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil. It was completed in 1931 and stands 98 feet (30 metres) tall, its horizontally outstretched arms spanning 92 feet (28 metres). The statue, made of reinforced concrete clad in a mosaic of thousands of triangular soapstone tiles, sits on a square stone pedestal base about 26 feet (8 metres) high, which itself is situated on a deck atop the mountain’s summit. The statue is the largest Art Deco style sculpture in the world and is one of Rio de Janeiro’s most recognizable landmarks.

In the 1850s the Vincentian priest Pedro Maria Boss suggested placing a Christian monument on Mount Corcovado to honour Isabel, princess regent of Brazil and the daughter of Emperor Pedro II , although the project was never approved. In 1921 the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro proposed that a statue of Christ be built on the 2,310-foot (704-metre) summit, which, because of its commanding height, would make it visible from anywhere in Rio. Citizens petitioned Pres. Epitácio Pessoa to allow the construction of the statue on Mount Corcovado.

Permission was granted, and the foundation stone of the base was ceremonially laid on April 4, 1922—to commemorate the centennial on that day of Brazil’s independence from Portugal—although the monument’s final design had not yet been chosen. That same year a competition was held to find a designer, and the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa was chosen on the basis of his sketches of a figure of Christ holding a cross in his right hand and the world in his left. In collaboration with Brazilian artist Carlos Oswald, Silva Costa later amended the plan; Oswald has been credited with the idea for the figure’s standing pose with arms spread wide. The French sculptor Paul Landowski, who collaborated with Silva Costa on the final design, has been credited as the primary designer of the figure’s head and hands. Funds were raised privately, principally by the church. Under Silva Costa’s supervision, construction began in 1926 and continued for five years. During that time materials and workers were transported to the summit via railway.

After its completion, the statue was dedicated on October 12, 1931. Over the years it has undergone periodic repairs and renovations, including a thorough cleaning in 1980, in preparation for the visit of Pope John Paul II to Brazil that year, and a major project in 2010, when the surface was repaired and refurbished. Escalators and panoramic elevators were added beginning in 2002; previously, in order to reach the statue itself, tourists climbed more than 200 steps as the last stage of the trip. In 2006, to mark the statue’s 75th anniversary, a chapel at its base was consecrated to Our Lady of Aparecida, the patron saint of Brazil.

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