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Christ statue lightning strike: Icon now in dire need of $1.8 million manicure

Christ statue lightning strike takes part of the iconic image's fingers.
Christ statue lightning strike takes part of the iconic image's fingers.
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The Christ statue lightning strike took part of Rio’s iconic Christ statue’s middle finger off and a good piece of the Christ figure’s thumb. This statue is often hit by lightning, but the Christ figure emerges unscathed most of the time, but not this week, according to Fox News live on Saturday, Jan. 18.

This iconic towering figure known as the Christ the Redeemer statue is the first thing you see flying into Rio and its often depicted on commercials for tourism.

The middle finger damage isn’t too bad, it almost looks like the product of a bad manicure. It is the statue’s thumb that took the brunt of the strike’s damage, reports the International Business Times via Yahoo today.

The thumb of the statue is missing the tip. The storm hit in the early hours of Friday morning and according to the Atmospheric Electricity Group and the National Institute for Space Research, Rio endured 1,109 lightning strikes.

That is a large number of strikes for one storm considering it is about half of the number of what Rio got for lightning strikes in the entire month of March last year. The religious statue, which welcomes visitors to Rio, is made of soapstone and concrete. Christ the Redeemer is hit by three to five lightning strikes every year, as one might imagine as it towers over most everything else.

This isn’t the first time this towering image of Christ has suffered lightning damage. The head of the statue was severely damaged in 2008 and layers of soapstone were replaced. The face and hands of the iconic Christ the Redeemer underwent a restoration project to the tune of $4 million in 2010.

To fix this new damage it will cost an estimated $1.8 million. This is one expensive statue to maintain apparently, but it is so special it has often been referred to as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.