Rio de Janeiro, July 1 (efe-epa).- The Christ the Redeemer statue of Rio de Janeiro was illuminated again Wednesday in tribute to victims of the novel coronavirus, which in Brazil has caused over 60,000 deaths and is approaching 1.5 million cases.
The tribute included a religious event in the Sanctuary of Christ the Redeemer, headed by the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Cardinal Orani Joao Tempesta. But the strong winds and rain meant the celebration, in which a message from Pope Francis was read out, was transferred to a nearby church.
The projection Wednesday featured several languages on the iconic statue that sits atop Corcovado mountain, the main tourist site of Brazil, displaying the messages: “All together for each life” and “More than 60,000 lives.”
The state of Rio de Janeiro, the third most populous in Brazil, with some 17 million inhabitants, is one of the hardest hit in the country with 115,278 cases and 10,198 deaths.
The pandemic continues to accelerate throughout Brazil, the second most affected country in the world, which has already registered 60,632 deaths from the coronavirus and 1,448,753 confirmed cases of the infectious disease since it registered its first case on Feb. 26.
The country’s largest tourist symbol was closed to the public in mid-March, but since then the imposing Art Deco figure has served to display messages of solidarity for health care personnel as well as other countries hit by COVID-19.
On May 3, a mask was projected onto Christ the Redeemer to raise awareness of the importance of their use during the pandemic.
A red heart was also shined onto the statue with “Masks Save” written underneath.
On March 18, at the beginning of the quarantine and the rigid social isolation measures imposed by the authorities, the flags of the 166 countries where coronavirus cases had so far been registered were projected onto the Redeemer in a religious ceremony without an audience.
Maps of each of the continents with coronavirus cases declared at that time were also exhibited on the body of the statue. EFE-EPA