December 12, 2007 - 10:37AM
Muslim-majority Indonesia has unveiled one of Asia's tallest Jesus Christ statues in the mainly Christian town of Manado on North Sulawesi island, the company behind it said today.
Indonesian real estate developer Ciputra built the 30-metre-high statue in its CitraLand residential estate, hoping it will lure tourists and become a religious icon, the company's marketing manager Sonya Lasut said. "It looks like the Jesus is flying to bless people," she added.
The white monument - which shows a robed Christ with his arms and palms outstretched above his head - took nearly three years to complete and cost five billion rupiah (about $A611,000). It also consisted of 25 tonnes of metal fibre and 35 tonnes of steel, Lasut added.
She said the Indonesian Museum of Records had certified the statue as Asia's tallest Jesus - overtaking the 27-metre tall Cristo Rei in East Timor's capital Dili - during a ceremony on December 2.
However, Vietnam's state-run tourism agency SaigonTourist says on its website that the southern coastal resort city of Vung Tau is home to a 32-metre-tall Jesus Christ statue. A museum official said he did not have a record of the Vietnamese statue.