'World's tallest' Jesus statue erected in Poland

Image caption,
Town officials hope the statue will be attracting tourists from around the world

A gigantic statue of Jesus - claimed to be the world's tallest - has been erected in a western Polish town.

Christ the King in Swiebodzin rises 33m (108ft) - one metre for every year that Jesus lived, said Sylwester Zawadzki, the priest who created the statue.

But other local officials said the statue was 51m-high (167ft), if one included a mound it sat on and the golden crown on the head.

They said it was higher than famous Christ figures in Bolivia and Brazil.

The total height of Cristo de la Concordia in Cochabamba, Bolivia, is 40.4m (133ft), while Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer rises 38m (125ft).


Hundreds of people gathered on Saturday to watch a giant crane lift the the statue's arms and shoulders and slowly place them onto the figure's lower body.

The crowd broke into applause and some prayed as construction workers finally hoisted on the head - crowned with a golden king's crown.

"I have never been as happy as I am today," Rev Zawadzki, aged 78, said. "This is the culmination of my life's work as a priest."

The statue was financed by private donations from around the world, although Rev Zawadzki declined to say how much it cost.

Town officials now hope that the statue will promote the town, bringing in tourists from around the world.

However, some local residents have dismissed the statue as tacky, saying the money would have been better spent on social projects in the town.

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